Why are they moving here? Should I be afraid? How can I keep my children safe? With news that a level-three sex offender — considered to be at the highest risk of reoffending — will be moving to Alexandria soon, the Echo Press talked to Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels to answer those questions and more. The numbers First off, Alexandria is not a mecca or magnet for sex offenders as some readers speculated on the newspaper's Facebook page after a Feb. There are currently three level-three offenders living in Douglas County — two in Alexandria including the latest one and one in Brandon, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
If you take the county's total population of 37, and divide it by three, you get a per capita rate of one offender for every 12, residents. Statewide, that ranks 29th out of the 53 counties that have at least one registered level-three offender. Looking at it another way, 18 counties in Minnesota have more offenders than Douglas County and of those 18, six have smaller populations.
Alexandria also has eight level-two offenders and 14 level-one offenders. After they serve their jail or prison time, sex offenders are released on supervised probation. They decide where they want to live — not law enforcement.
Once they decide where they'll be going, the department of corrections sometimes recommends a halfway house or other place where they can try to make a fresh start. Why do some decide to move to Alexandria?
Their roots are here. They won't report a new address, or they'll get arrested for a drug or alcohol related crime and they'll end up back in prison. Then, when they're released again, some decide to move back to the community a second or third time. Each time they do, law enforcement again issues a community notification about the offender moving to the area.
As of March 1, the department of corrections listed level-three offenders in the state. Twelve offenders were off the grid or did not have a known address. In addition to probation officers keeping contact with offenders, the Alexandria Police Department also monitors an offender's whereabouts.
Wyffels said that while it is always beneficial to be aware of their presence, they should not leap to conclusions about what an offender will do. In the majority of cases, the offenders are known by the victims. Or the offender may have been a year-old in a relationship with a year-old.
Wyffels understands how people can be enraged about their crimes. He said many people share the same view his father had about all criminals — lock them up in jail and throw the keys away. But in reality that can't be done for every offender. The sheer cost of doing so shows that's not the right answer, Wyffels said. They won't show up for a meeting with a parole officer or they'll drink alcohol. It happened with methamphetamine users. Is the same thing true for sex offenders?
I hope so, but I'm not the guy to connect the dots. The true message is to know more about the kinds of offenses they did. He'd be targeting young boys or girls. If something looks strange or out of place, report it. Expected soon Criminal history: Sexual contact with girl under age 12, including sexual touching. Chad Larson, block of Sixth Ave.
September Criminal history: Sexual contact with female victims, ages 3 to 7, including sexual touching. Also has history of possessing child pornography. Tarance Swan, Brandon Release date: July Criminal history: Sexual contact with male and female infants, girls between ages of 6 and 14, and an adult female.
Used his position of authority and manipulation or force to gain compliance. Minnesota Department of Corrections Charting the sex offenders This list highlights the Minnesota counties with the most level three sex offenders per capita. The numbers show how many people live in that county per sex offender.
Douglas County has one sex offender for every 12, people based on the population in