Predatory Offender Residency Restrictions

 The Watertown City Council has found that repeat predatory offenders present a threat to the public safety of the community as a whole, especially children. Predatory offenders assigned a risk level III under the risk assessment scale established by the Minnesota Department of Corrections are more likely than other classifications  of offenders to use physical violence, to repeat their offenses, to have committed multiple offenses, to have more victims than are ever reported, and, as a result, to be prosecuted for only a fraction of their crimes.

As expressed in Minn. Stat. § 412.221, subd. 32, the City has power to provide for the prevention of crime, the benefit of residence, and the promotion of health, safety, order, convenience, and the general welfare, as it deems necessary and expedient. 

The City has a compelling interest in promoting, protecting, and improving the health, safety, and general welfare of its citizens, and specifically has a compelling interest to protect against the serious threat to children posed by predatory offenders, including the risk of recidivism and harm that released sex offenders, assessed at a risk level III due to their high risk of re-offense, will pose to this community. 

Therefore the City prohibits certain predatory offenders of risk level III from establishing temporary or permanent residence in certain locations where children are known to regularly congregate in concentrated numbers.  Designated offenders are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet from a public park or school facility, and 500 feet from a licensed daycare with some exceptions. To view the full ordinance and map click on the links below. It is the responsibility of the offender to confirm buffer zones are current with City Hall.

Ordinance 397 - Amending Chapter 26 of Watertown City Code Regulating Residency for Predatory Offenders