Three part predatory offender series kicks off in Duluth

By KBJR News 1

April 30, 2014 Updated Apr 30, 2014 at 10:05 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Registered sexual offenders in Duluth are a cause of concern for many people living in the Northland.

That's why a series of workshops kicked off Wednesday, dedicated to educating Duluthians about laws focusing on offenders living in the area.

The gathering at Lincoln Park Middle School set the stage for an ongoing dialog.

As of January first there were approximately 17,400 predatory offenders registered in Minnesota, with 257 of those offenders living in Duluth.

Law enforcement officials say there are three levels of predatory offenders ranging from level one, the lowest risk, to level three, the highest risk.

Currently in Duluth there are eight level three offenders, but Duluth Police say having discussions like these is the first step in making the community comfortable.

"Once an issue is illuminated there is less fear, and people are empowered with information, and community members don't need to be fearful. They don't need to be fearful of their neighbors or what's going on in the community," said Lieut. Leigh Wright of the Duluth police department.

Local law enforcement officials say most sex crimes are committed by someone without a previous criminal sexual conduct conviction.

Future workshops will include discussions with a sex offender, a landlord, and a housing representative.

The three-part series will conclude on Wednesday June 25th.

Elsa Robins