OUR OPINION: Predators | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

OUR OPINION: Predators

Transparency is always better

Posted: February 24, 2012 - 3:59pm

No one enjoys reading or talking about predatory offenders. It’s an issue that enrages some people and horrifies others. That unseemly topic was in the news this past week or as the Dispatch reported on Tuesday’s predatory offender community notification meeting in Brainerd. Before the meeting Dispatch Staff Writer Jessi Pierce wrote a story in which she cited the number of registered offenders who live in Crow Wing County (184) and the portion of that number who live in Brainerd (90).

The Minnesota Department of Corrections lists more information about the more serious offenders — the Level 3 offenders — and the Dispatch reported approximate addresses of the three Level 3 offenders in Crow Wing County and the two who live in Cass County.

All of this information is a welcome development, particularly when compared to the manner in which predatory offenders were released years ago. There was no notification, no warning. A stranger with an unknown past showed up in a neighborhood and families unsuspectedly went about their business with no clue that a potential danger could endanger their security.

There’s no doubt the public notification causes problems for released offenders. We know at least one was unhappy because he voiced his concerns to us directly last week. Still, the current state law calling for notification brings more transparency and we hope, more peace of mind for Minnesota families.