Latest: State Senate approves expanding strip search authority

MADISON — The state Senate has approved a bill that would expand situations where authorities could conduct strip searches.

Right now, anyone arrested or detained on suspicion of a crime that isn't a felony can be strip-searched only if he will be held in a jail or prison with other people for at least 12 hours. The Republican bill would remove the 12-hour requirement.

The Senate passed the bill 19-14, sending it to the Assembly.

The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday approved a $5 million settlement with 74 black men who alleged they were subjected to illegal strip and body cavity searches by Milwaukee police.

Sen. Lena Taylor, a Milwaukee Democrat, questioned how Republicans could expand strip searches despite police abuses. Republicans countered the bill would increase safety for inmates and guards.