The Police Department takes a proactive approach to checking registered predatory offenders within Shakopee. This is done by conducting at least three checks annually of those persons registered within the city limits of Shakopee. Officers are assigned to check on the current registered offenders and confirm the primary address and other information contained in the registrants file to confirm the accuracy of the information. The officers also take updated photographs of the offenders and those photographs are forwarded to the Minnesota BCA Predatory Offender Unit.
There are three levels of predatory offenders and each level has certain laws which govern what information may be given to the public. Notification for the three levels is as follows:
Level I Offenders. The law enforcement agency may maintain information about the offender within the agency. The agency may disclose this information to:
- Other law enforcement agencies
- Any victims or witnesses to the offense committed by the offender
The agency must disclose this information to:
- Victims of the offense who have requested disclosure
- Adult members of the offender’s immediate household
Level II Offenders. The law enforcement agency may disclose the same information as on Level I offenders, as well as to:
- Agencies and groups the offender is likely to encounter. These agencies and groups include the staff members of public and private educational institutions, day care establishments and establishments and organizations that primarily serve individuals likely to be victimized by the offender. The purpose of this notification is to secure these institutions and to protect individuals in the care of these institutions while they are on or near the institution’s premises.
- Individuals the agency believes are likely to be victimized by the offender based on the offender’s pattern of offending or victim preference.
Level III Offenders. The law enforcement agency must disclose the information to:
- The persons and entities who may receive notice about Level I and II offenders. When the entity is one that primarily educates or serves children, and the offender is participating in programs offered by the facility that require or allow the person to interact with children, then the entity must notify the parents with children at the facility.
- Other members of the community whom the offender is likely to encounter, unless the agency determines that public safety would be compromised by the disclosure or that a more limited disclosure is necessary to protect the identity of the victim.
When a Level III offender moves into a community, law enforcement typically holds a community meeting to provide information about the offender. The offender may not attend the meeting.
A law enforcement agency disclosing information to the public about Level III offenders must forward the information disclosed to the Commissioner of Corrections. The Commissioner of Corrections must create and maintain a website to post the information received from the law enforcement agency. This information must be updated in a timely manner to account for address changes. The information must be available during the time the offender is subject to notification as a Level III offender. Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subds. 4 and 4b.
Caveat: A law enforcement agency may not make the disclosures permitted or required for Level II and Level III predatory offenders if the offender is placed or resides in a residential facility. In these cases, notification is delayed until shortly before the offender is released from the residential facility. Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subd. 4.
For more information, please visit the Minnesota Predatory Offender Registry at http://por.state.mn.us/Home.aspx.
Why would a Level III offender move to my city?Predatory offenders move to communities for many reasons. They often go back to a county of conviction due to the conditions of their supervised release. They may also choose a location because of family support, church, employment or another ex-offender.
Why does the city and police department allow predatory offenders in Shakopee?
The City of Shakopee has no authority to prohibit released predatory offenders from relocating to Shakopee. In fact, such ordinances in other communities have been struck down by the courts.
Convicted sexual and predatory offenders have always resided in Minnesota communities. It was not until the passage of the Registration Act that law enforcement had the ability to track the movement of these offenders after their initial release. Residency laws prohibiting where offenders can live also make it difficult to track offenders since offenders may stop registering in order to live somewhere in secrecy.
The community notification process is intended to provide the community with information that may be used to help educate themselves, their families and their employees regarding personal safety. Please remember, the offender is not wanted by the police and has served his/her sentences by the court.
Why does the Police Department hold meetings about Level III predatory offenders who move into my neighborhood?The information in any predatory offender notification is designed to raise an awareness to help avoid situations involving vulnerable circumstances and to reduce the chances of further criminal conduct by the offender.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections evaluates and screens prisoners prior to their release. This does not mean they can predict someone’s future behavior. It is a process to compare past behavior with that of others to determine risk categories and how they might act upon release. The Shakopee Police Department hosts a public meeting to give information on Level III predatory offenders to area neighbors to make them aware of the offender and to help watch out for each other by working together.
What happens at a community notification meeting?
The Minnesota Department of Corrections and other area agencies will provide information on the Level III predatory offender, conditions of release, guidelines about predatory offender registration and general safety information. The Shakopee Police Department will also be on hand to answer questions. The purpose of the meeting is to provide community members with pertinent information and address their concerns as best we can.
How does this information make a difference?Predatory offenders gain power from operating in a mode of secrecy. Notifying the community of an offender takes away their hidden agenda by making neighbors aware of their identity and where they live. Any power that the community takes back from the offender helps to reduce opportunities for victimization. Shakopee appreciates your willingness to be involved in community education and the notification process to help empower you and your family to be safe.
How can I protect my family and myself?Talk to your children. Open communication between parents and children are vital components of family safety. Explain in general terms that this new person in the neighborhood has hurt someone before and we want you to stay away from them to be safe. Review safety tips and common lures used to get kids into a vulnerable situation. Monitor your kids always knowing who they are with and where they are at.
Use these basics to help stay safe from an offender:
- DO NOT go into his home or yard.
- DO NOT accept a ride from him.
- TELL your parents if he offers you toys, money, or gifts.
- USE the buddy system when playing outdoors.
- STAY with trusted adults that are watching you.
- CALL 911 if your parents aren’t home and you are approached by the offender.
It is important to remember that relationship, not residency, is most likely to impact victim recidivism. Therefore, awareness of predatory offenders is often the first step to protecting oneself.
How common are Level III predatory offenders in Shakopee?
Level III predatory offenders are extremely rare. The last known offender planned to move into Shakopee in 2010 but later changed his mind.
While Level III offenders may be new to Shakopee, they are not new to Scott County. Our neighboring communities have had them for years.
Are Shakopee police officers trained to monitor predatory offenders?Absolutely. The Shakopee Police Department is second to none when it comes to training staff on issues related to predatory offenders. Our department is the ONLY department in the state of Minnesota certified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Readiness Project.
Will I be informed when this offender moves out of my neighborhood?No. The notification about predatory offenders is basic safety information to help create awareness of an offender moving into your neighborhood. There are many predatory offenders in this state as well as other states. It would serve no purpose to have people relax or not follow safety measures because the one offender they knew about moved from the neighborhood.