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Dec-28-2007 22:11TweetFollow @OregonNews
Community Sex Offender Notification Issued in CorneliusTim King Salem-News.com
The state decision to release the sex offenders into the neighborhood was made without giving notice to the residents of this Cornelius community.
(CORNELIUS, Ore.) - A recent decision by the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board means serious sex offenders will take mandatory walks through a Cornelius neighborhood on a regular basis.
The decision to re institute this policy has law enforcement officials in the area alarmed, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a Community Sex Offender Notification to residents in the City of Cornelius.
The notification applies to the residents living in a neighborhood surrounding the Connell House which is located at 117 North 29th Avenue in Cornelius, Oregon.
The notices are being distributed door-to-door by Sheriff’s Office personnel.
The Connell House is a residential treatment facility. The facility is home to a number of residents who have been found guilty “except for insanity” of very serious crimes.
Three of those residents are registered sex offenders: Matthew John Shipley, Jerry Allan Farstad, and Harold Austin Aven.
Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon says a three-year old child was the victim in one of these cases.
"The PSRB determined they were suitable to live in this Cornelius neighborhood on 'conditional release' from the Oregon State Hospital."
The PSRB recently instructed Connell House management to reinstate a policy of walking these offenders through the neighborhood on a regular basis. Gordon says these offenders are not wearing restraints.
"If an offender decides to walk away from the group, staff members will take no action to detain them. These staff members are not armed, and their plan if an offender walks away is to call 9-1-1 and wait for police to respond."
He says the decisions of the PSRB have been made without giving notice to the residents of this Cornelius community.
"Law enforcement and citizens stand a much better chance of being able to prevent crime when we know the potentially dangerous people living in our neighborhoods, where they live, and who to contact for additional information in an emergency."
He says that for all these reasons, the Sheriff’s Office issued a Community Sex Offender Notification today to approximately 1,300 residents of Cornelius neighborhoods within a one-half mile radius of the Connell House. It began at 10:00 AM.
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