Councilman Targets Clusters of Sex Offenders Living in Mpls.
Updated: 03/19/2013 8:15 PM KSTP.com
By: Stephen Tellier
A city councilman wants to try to disperse the heavy concentrations of sex offenders living in a few Minneapolis communities.
Half of all sex offenders statewide live in Hennepin County, and most of those live in just a few areas in Minneapolis.
"They shouldn't have them condensed all in one area here," said Mark Tibesar, who lives in the Near North community.
"Very concerning, shocking, alarming," said Dontay St. James, another Near North resident who has four teenage children.
That community has the highest concentration of level three sex offenders in Minnesota.
"If they've got those types of numbers, shouldn't something be done?" St. James asked.
City councilman Don Samuels is asking the same question.
"We have this level of concentration now that is totally out of whack with the population," Samuels said.
We broke the problem down by the 24 zip codes in Minneapolis. Eighteen are home to fewer than five level three sex offenders. But four have far higher concentrations: 55407, (Powderhorn) has 11, 55412 (Camden) has 12, 55403 (Lowry Hill) has 27, and 55411 (Near North) has 34. View an interactive map here
"If I wouldn't want even one sex offender next to me, why am I allowing ten in this small area?" Samuels asked.
Samuels said the heavy concentrations have countless consequences, including increased crime, decreased property values, and a higher financial burden for all Hennepin County taxpayers. He wants the state to come up with a plan to settle more sex offenders outside of Hennepin County, and wants the county that convicts each offender to share the financial burden of supporting them after they leave prison.
At least one of his constituents agrees.
Hennepin County has a lot to deal with as it is, and to add that to it, that takes away from other things that need attention and need money," Tibesar said.
At a council committee meeting Wednesday afternoon, Samuels will be introducing a resolution asking city, county, and state leaders to come up with a coordinated plan to address the problem.