Sex offender moves into local neighborhoodBY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER Last Tuesday evening’s community meeting was held in the Lake Stevens Middle School cafeteria.
The meeting, which was put together by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, was a very important meeting to discuss how to keep your children safe and to make neighbors aware of sex offenders living in the area.
The most recent offender has moved into the 10100 block of 5th Place SE in Lake Stevens and is classified as a level 3 sex offender.
Level 3 offenders are considered the most likely to be repeat offenders of their crime.
This notification follows the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) and the “Model Policy” set by them which establishes guidelines for the classification levels and the distribution of information about the sex offenders beginning with RCW 4.24.550(3).
The notification, according to a handout given that evening, states that, “The purpose of the risk level assessment is to provide the community with information about the convicted sex offenders who pose a moderate or high risk to reoffend.”
As parents and concerned community members walked into the cafeteria whispers of “where is everyone?” were heard.
One concerned mother of a young daughter, said that she expected a much bigger crowd.
“I thought there would be a lot more people here with this being so important.”
The woman “Heather” requested that we keep her last name out of the paper for the protection of her family and daughter.
Heather said she came to the meeting with hopes of seeing a clear photograph of the sex offender, and to get ideas on safety and what to do if there was to be any more concerns.
Detective Dave Coleman, went over many important do’s and don’ts of child safety and what to tell them to do if they are in an uncomfortable situation.
“We give this information to empower you,” Coleman said.
The statistics he gave that evening were staggering even though efforts are being made everyday to inform neighborhoods of incoming sex offenders.
As of Oct. 1, Lake Stevens has 19 sex offenders living within its boundaries and another 11 in nearby Granite Falls, with 65 in Marysville.
Include those numbers to the other cities and towns in Washington, and the total quickly adds up to more than 20,000 registered sex offenders in Washington and over 644,000 in the United States as of Sept. 23, 2008.
Information on sex offenders is made public and can be found at: http://web5.co.snohomish.wa.us/ssh/rso_webinfo/rsoinfo.aspx or by searching “Snohomish County sex offenders”.