Orfordville meeting to offer information on area sex offenders
ORFORDVILLE Orfordville Police Chief Dave Wickstrum said he wants village residents to keep the pitchforks and torches at home.
That's why he's organized a Thursday meeting about sex offender registration and safety. The meeting is in response to residents complaining that they weren't notified about registered sex offenders living in the area, he said.
No registered sex offenders are scheduled to move to Orfordville in the near future nor have there been any released in the past few months, he said. The placement of two men committed under the state's so-called sexual predator law to a home in nearby Hanover in May, however, scared people, he said.
Wickstrum and officials from the state Department of Corrections will explain the sex offender registry, community notification and supervision of sex offenders. They'll provide tips on how people can protect themselves from acts of sexual violence.
Wickstrum said a resident used the state's sex offender registry website to find sex offenders living in the area. The site does not provide details about offenders' charges, and some people jump to conclusions, he said.
People complained to Wickstrum that he didn't notify the public about the offenders in the area, even though the sheriff's office alerted residents in spring about the Hanover placements, he said. That's why people need to be educated about the different levels of notification, which vary depending on the offender, he said.
What helped prompt the meeting was an area sex offender telling the chief that he had been asked to move out of his apartment.
"I said, 'This is ridiculous,'" Wickstrum said. "I figured people needed some education."
IF YOU GO
What: An educational meeting on sex offender registration and protective behaviors
Where: Parkview Junior/Senior High School Little Theater, 106 W. Church St., Orfordville.
When: 7-9 p.m. Thursday
Details: The meeting is to provide information and education about sex offender registration, community notification and supervision and to enhance public awareness and education on how residents can protect themselves from acts of sexual violence.
Note: Some of the material covered might not be suitable for young children. Free child care will be provided.