Ordinance allows sex offenders to be housed within city

NORTH BEND - In the balancing act between public safety versus the responsibility to rehabilitate convicted sex offenders, the North Bend City Council tilted toward the former when adopting an ordinance allowing a secure community transition facility to be sited inside the city.

The ordinance stems from a 2001 law passed by the state Legislature that calls on cities and counties to identify areas where facilities can be built to house sex offenders who have completed their prison sentences.

Cities and counties face a deadline of Sept. 1 to make a decision. After that, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) could step in and choose a site or them to accommodate the Level II and Level III sex offenders facing civil commitment.

"I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you these are the worst of the worst," said City Attorney Mike Kenyon of the people who would be placed in a secure community transition facility during the City Council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 20.

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