Under Brooklyn Center’s new temporary rules, Level 3 offenders must live at least 2,000 feet from a school, park or other place where children congregate.
Until now, the city did not have an ordinance restricting offenders’ location.
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A Department of Corrections spokeswoman said it’s a coincidence that two Level 3 offenders have made plans in the past week to move to Brooklyn Center.
Offenders do have some say in where they live, said spokeswoman Sarah Latuseck.
It also comes just days before a federal judge is poised to issue a ruling that could overhaul the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, which indefinitely confines 720 rapists and pedophiles to treatment centers. Brooklyn Center Mayor Tim Willson said the city of 30,000 has more Level 3 offenders than any other Hennepin County suburb and that he and the council want to reverse that trend.
LEVEL 3 OFFENDERS Anoka 1 Blaine 1 Brooklyn Center 6 Brooklyn Park 3 Bloomington 0 Burnsville 1 Columbia Heights 3 Coon Rapids 0 Crystal 2 Eagan 1 Fridley 1 Hilltop 2 Minneapolis 113 Minnetonka 0 Oakdale 2 Prior Lake 1 Richfield 0 Robbinsdale 0 Roseville 0 St. Paul 0 Woodbury 0 Source: Minnesota Department of Corrections He and the council passed the new temporary limits of sex offender placement with terse words for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, which they believe is partly responsible for the increased number of placements.
The 120 days will give city leaders time to examine the causes and effect of the uptick and to draft an ordinance that would permanently limit where sex offenders can reside, officials said.
“We are of the opinion they are not born and raised in Brooklyn Center.
They are just being put in Brooklyn Center,” Willson said.
Alarmed by a surge in the number of Level 3 predatory sex offenders who have moved to Brooklyn Center, the City Council has passed a 120-day moratorium severely limiting where these high-risk offenders can live.
Six Level 3 sex offenders now live in the inner-ring suburb. The council’s action could head off the arrival of two more sex offenders who recently revealed their intention to move to Brooklyn Center. District Court Judge Donovan Frank has already declared the program unconstitutional, and many offenders could be released.
“In general, residency restrictions and city ordinances such as these interfere with the safe and effective supervision of sex offenders,” she wrote.
“Restrictions can increase homelessness and decrease the support systems that are essential in helping keep an offender from committing a new crime.” There are currently 345 Level 3 offenders living across Minnesota, Latuseck said, adding that Brooklyn Center isn’t among the five communities with the most offenders.