The Police Department is releasing this information pursuant to Minnesota Statute 244.052 which authorizes law enforcement agencies to inform the public of a sex offender’s release from prison, or a secure treatment facility, when that agency believes that the release of information will enhance public safety. Sex offender notification laws differ from state to state.
Notification about sex offenders released into the community became law in Minnesota in January, 1997. The information contained here pertains to sex offenders released into the city Heron Lake. This information is also communicated directly to the affected communities at meetings that give citizens the opportunity to learn about the notification law, about the offender being released, the offender’s rights and restrictions, and about what law-abiding people can do to make themselves, and their families, safer. These meetings also give attendees an opportunity to ask questions.
The materials contained within this site are not meant to be exhaustive; however, they do provide information about the notification law and about offenders released into our community. If you live outside of Heron Lake, Minnesota, please contact your local law enforcement agency about the community notification process in your city. Illegal activities against a sex offender will be treated as such. These activities could also jeopardize the notification law.
Overview of the Community Notification Act
(Legislative Opinion) Legislative Findings and Purpose “The legislature finds that if members of the public are provided adequate notice and information about a sex offender who has been or is about to be released from custody and who lives or will live in or near their neighborhood, the community can develop constructive plans to prepare themselves and their children for the offender’s release.
Assessment of Risk Level
The public risk posed by a sex offender about to be released is assessed by a committee of experts. The offender is given a risk level. Information about the offender, including their risk level, is sent to the law enforcement agency having primary jurisdiction over the area in which the offender plans to reside. The level of risk posed by the offender determines to whom law enforcement may disclose information.
Scope of Notification
•Level 1- Law enforcement may notify:
◦Other law enforcement agencies
◦Any victims of, or witnesses to, the offense committed by the offender
•Level 2- In addition to Level 1 notifications, law enforcement may notify:
◦Schools and daycares
◦Establishments and organizations that primarily serve individuals likely to be victimized by the offender
•Level 3- In addition to Level 2 notifications, law enforcement may notify:
◦Other members of the community whom the offender is likely to encounter
Beginning August 1, 2000 there is another way that the public can get information about Level Three offenders. The Minnesota Legislature, as part of the passage of Katie’s Law (named after Katie Poirier) in the 2000 legislative session, directed the Commissioner of Corrections to establish a site on the World Wide Web that contains information about the Level Three offenders living in the community. Within two days after law enforcement officials have held a notification meeting on an offender, those officials determine what information they want released on this web site, and forward the information to the DOC. The DOC then posts this information, and maintains the changes in location that may occur with the offenders. This site does not contain information about Level One or Level Two offenders. Please review the information contained on this site carefully. The intent of the law, and the actions of law enforcement officials and the DOC is to provide information that will improve public safety. This web site can be access at the link below.