Recent cases of violent crime in East St. Paul sparked a heated debate on Thursday night. Neighbors packed Arlington Hills Lutheran Church to voice their concerns to city leaders and law enforcement. The community concerns stem from a mid-July shooting that claimed the life of 17-year-old Vincent Allison, and also after a group of people severely beat 26-year-old Ray Widstrand earlier this month.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections uses electronic monitoring to track high-risk sex offenders, as well as other offenders who are finishing out their sentences on supervised release. Thousands of alerts are generated each month, and while most are harmless, strapping a GPS bracelet on an offender’s ankle does not guarantee he or she will stay out of trouble.