An audience of nearly 90 people attended the community notification meeting that was presented by Hastings Public Safety Wednesday evening hosted by Chief Bryan Schafer. The Chief acknowledged members of the city council, speakers from the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, the Minnesota Department of Corrections and a spokesperson representing the supervisory team that will be responsible for documenting the compliance of a Level 3 Predatory Offender, 50 year old Randall Scott Wonderlich when he transitions to a residence in Hastings next week. Chief Schaffer introduced Sarah Hustad, who provided data about the man who received sentences of more than 38 years in all from 3 separate convictions involving criminal sexual conduct. According to Hustad, Wondelich has served the expected two-thirds of the time required by those sentences and will now transition to a rental property located near Pine Street and Southview Drive. During the presentation Hustad revealed that there are currently 74 offenders currently living in the city, although Wonderlich would be only the 2nd Level Three offender to reside here. She also stated that there are more than 200 in Dakota County and that larger counties such as Hennipen and Ramsey have upwards of 1,000 listed on the DOC offender registry. A great deal of information, lasting approximately 90 minutes, was then followed by audience reaction ranging from fear to frustration and anger. Mothers, fathers, grandparents and neighbors raised questions about property devaluation, child safety, conceal and carry intentions, and proximity to day care, school zones and public parks. One member of the audience asked for Mayor Hicks to address the group, which he did, referring to the steps involved in drafting city ordinance language to address the concern.
We will feature more of the Community Notification meeting content including reaction from the Hastings City Attorney, Dan Fluegel on our next newscast.