No Offense

BARELY TWO YEARS after first passing a "community notification" law to alert neighborhoods of the presence of certain sex offenders, the state Legislature is considering drastically expanding the law's requirements. Under a series of revisions championed by state Sen. Ember Reichgott (DFL-New Hope) and state Rep. Luanne Koskinen (DFL-Coon Rapids), law enforcement would be given the power to disclose information about all sex offenders--not just those classified as most likely to reoffend.

Junge says a New Hope police officer sparked her interest in the matter when he told her of seeing a known sex offender socializing with children in the community. The cop said he wasn't able to notify the children's parents because the man had been released prior to the community-notification law.

Junge says her version of the bill is currently stalled because of data-privacy concerns, but Koskinen's House version is still under discussion. Both lawmakers say they hope the change will pass as part of an omnibus crime package.

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