Editorial: City picked a good group for committee

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

When the Albert Lea City Council first decided to form a committee that would draft a sex offender ordinance, there was concern that the city was rushing into a measure that could possibly do more to tie up police time than to fight crime.

Now that the members of the committee to draft an ordinance have been named, it seems some of those fears have passed. Kudos to the City Council for naming a diverse group of people to the committee. We are particularly glad the committee has strong representation from the law enforcement sector.

Albert Lea Police Chief Dwaine Winkels, detective Frank Kohl and Freeborn County Sheriff Mark Harig are on the committee. Who better to ask how to keep us safe than the guys on the front line?

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Some are concerned that an ordinance that is structured too drastically will do nothing but force the registered offenders into the rural areas and, more than likely, make it harder to track the offenders. A drastic ordinance could end up giving the city’s registered offenders to the county. The problem will only shift.

On the other hand, a registered sex offender &045; from any state &045; living right next door to a school or child care makes it hard for parents to sleep at night.

It’s a tough nut to crack no matter how you look at it. Both sides have solid arguments.

With the broad representation, a happy medium can be reached.