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Sex offenders in Fargo, Proctor concern area residents

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Some Fargo residents are concerned about the high concentration of sex offenders living in one part of the city, WDAY reports.

The Fargo Police Department lists 83 sex offenders as living in Fargo. Twenty-three are listed as Level III offenders. You can see details on the website.

WDAY says 63 live in the confines of one area: 12th Avenue North (the edge of the NDSU campus) serves as the northern border, with 9th Avenue South the southern edge. The Red River cuts it off to the east, 25th Street South does so to the west. The map below outlines the approximate borders (click to enlarge).

The station got reaction from area residents, all of whom expressed discomfort with the knowledge. Fargo police say often times a sex offender's options are limited – and if only a handful of buildings will rent to them, that's where they'll go.

The North Dakota Office of Attorney General sex offender website lists 42 "high risk and lifetime offenders" living in the city.

All the way across Minnesota, toward the eastern border of the state, Proctor is reacting to the addition of one sex offender to the area. Proctor Police held a community meeting Friday night to address concerns about the town's proximity to a Level 3 sex offender, Northland's News Center reports.

According to Wesley Gordon Vandell's profile, he has a history of sexual contact with girls 13-16 years old, and videotaped some of the contact. The site says Vandell knew his victims, and held parties with alcohol at his home to gain access to them. His address is listed on the 700 block of North Boundary Avenue in Duluth – right on the edge of the border with the town of about 3,000, Northland's News Center notes, and about five blocks from a school

FOX 21 says the two of Proctor is so small, their ordinance prevents sex offenders from living within its borders. Neighbors tell the station they're concerned, but at the meeting law enforcement officials tried to quell those worries. Department of Corrections Officer Sarah Hustad noted only 3 percent of people re-offend, FOX 21 reports, and gave the community tips to stay aware and be safe.

Vandell's last offense was in 2001.

Official in Minnesota are facing federal pressure to reform the state's sex offender treatment program, which can currently indefinitely house offenders who have served out their sentence.

The Department of Corrections publicly lists all Level 3 predatory offenders on its website. You can search by name zip code, city or county. You can use the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's search tool to find a wider range of sex offenders.

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