I think we can all agree that we want to live in a safe community, with good schools, for those who have children or grandchildren of school-age, and we want to be aware of the less than wholesome elements in our cities. With all of the social media posts lately about attempted abductions, children being followed, and the terrible news out of Iowa about the death of Mollie Tibbetts, I saw an article about the number of predatory offenders in the area. It pays to be aware of your surroundings and to be aware of the numbers.

According to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's website, the following are the reasons that someone would have to register:

  • "Criminal Sexual Conduct and Felony Level Indecent Exposure

  • Kidnapping and False Imprisonment

  • Soliciting a minor to engage in prostitution or sexual conduct

  • Using a minor in a sexual performance

  • Possession of pictorial representations of minors"

Looking at the following cities, who are all comparable in size, these are the statistical numbers of predatory offenders living in the area:

  • Owatonna - There are 86 offenders; 50 are unassigned, 17 are Level 1, 13 are Level 2, and 6 are Level 3
  • Faribault - There are 70 offenders; 41 are unassigned, 14 are Level 1, 12 are Level 2, and 3 are Level 3
  • Austin - There are 110 offenders; 54 are unassigned, 27 are Level 1, 27 are Level 2, and 2 are Level 3
  • Albert Lea - There are 72 offenders, 37 are unassigned, 23 are Level 1, 7 are Level 2, and 5 are Level 3.

For comparison the State numbers are:

  • 17,578 offenders with no risk level assigned
  • 5,304 Level 1 offenders
  • 2,362 Level 2 offenders
  • 617 Level 3 offenders

These numbers look scary, however, they are pretty close to the same in each of the cities mentioned, and we are not necessarily aware of them, as there is only public notification for Level 3 offenders. The level at which they are classified is not determined by the BCA, but by the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

  • "Risk levels are assigned by the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) not the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
  • Risk Levels are assigned to registrants who are released from prison on or after January 1, 1997.
  • Risk level one indicates the least likely to re-offend. Risk level two indicates a moderate likelihood to re-offend. Risk level three indicates a high likelihood to re-offend.
  • Information about Level 3 offenders is available on the DOC website."

You can look up the information about Level 3 offenders on the DOC website as stated above. While there is no official public notification of Level 2 offenders, law enforcement can notify staff members of daycare establishments, public and private institutions, like schools or group homes, and any organization that primarily serves people who are likely to be victimized by Level 2 offenders.

Keep talking to the children and vulnerable people in your lives, remind them if they see something they should say something.

AndreyPopov (Thinkstock)