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Predatory offenders move to communities for many reasons. They often go back to a county of conviction due to the conditions of their supervised release. They may also choose a location because of family support, church, employment or another ex-offender.
The City of Chaska has no authority to prohibit released predatory offenders from relocating to Chaska. In fact, such ordinances in other communities have been struck down by the courts.
Convicted sexual and predatory offenders have always resided in Minnesota communities. It was not until the passage of the Registration Act that law enforcement had the ability to track the movement of these offenders after their initial release. Residency laws prohibiting where offenders can live also make it difficult to track offenders since offenders may stop registering in order to live somewhere in secrecy.
The community notification process is intended to provide the community with information that may be used to help educate themselves, their families and their employees regarding personal safety. Please remember, the offender is not wanted by the police and has served his/her sentences by the court.
The information in any predatory offender notification is designed to raise an awareness to help avoid situations involving vulnerable circumstances and to reduce the chances of further criminal conduct by the offender. The Minnesota Department of Corrections evaluates and screens prisoners prior to their release. This does not mean they can predict someone’s future behavior. It is a process to compare past behavior with that of others to determine risk categories and how they might act upon release. The Chaska Police Department hosts a public meeting to give information on Level Three predatory offenders to the community to make them aware of the offender and to help watch out for each other by working together.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections and other area agencies will provide information on the Level Three predatory offender, conditions of release, guidelines about predatory offender registration and general safety information. The Chaska Police Department will also be on hand to answer questions. The purpose of the meeting is to provide community members with pertinent information and address their concerns as best we can.
Predatory offenders gain power from operating in a mode of secrecy. Notifying the community of an offender takes away their hidden agenda by making neighbors aware of their identity and where they live. Any power that the community takes back from the offender helps to reduce opportunities for victimization. We appreciate your willingness to be involved in community education and the notification process to help empower you and your family to be safe.
Talk to your children. Open communication between parents and children are vital components of family safety. Explain in general terms that this new person in the neighborhood has hurt someone before and we want you to stay away from them to be safe. Review safety tips and common lures used to get kids into a vulnerable situation. Monitor your kids always knowing who they are with and where they are at.
Use these basics to help stay safe from an offender:
It is important to remember that relationship, not residency, is most likely to impact victim recidivism. Therefore, awareness of predatory offenders is often the first step to protecting oneself.
No. The notification about predatory offenders is basic safety information to help create awareness of an offender moving into your neighborhood. There are many predatory offenders in this state as well as other states. It would serve no purpose to have people relax or not follow safety measures because the one offender they knew about moved from the neighborhood.