Brimfield Police hold open forum about sex offenders

Trevor Ivan

Protecting children from sexual offenders is a community effort.

This was the message of last night’s community forum hosted by the Brimfield Police Department.

“When people find out a sexual offender lives in their neighborhood, they’re often shocked,” said David Blough, chief of the Brimfield Police Department. “Parents especially need to be vigilant. They need to know where their children are and whom they are with. Parents play a more important role than the police.”

Blough said many citizens are confused by the different designations of sexual offenders.

“Sexual predators are those who have been convicted of a sexually oriented offense, and a judge has determined that person is likely to commit a similar offense,” he said. “These people must register their address with the sheriff’s office for life. Their neighbors must also be notified that they live in the neighborhood.”

However, other sexual offenders are not subject to neighborhood notification by law, Blough said.

The Brimfield Police Department checks in with all sexual offenders living in the township every 30 days. This is more often than the state-mandated checks that range from every 90 days to once a year, depending on the offense.

“These offenders know that while they live in the township, they’ll see my face every month,” said Dan Rafferty, a Brimfield police officer.

Rafferty said the intention is not to harass these individuals, but rather to keep the community safe.

Rafferty also operates neighborhood watch groups in four neighborhoods throughout the township. These groups work with the police by reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.

Melinda Feezle, a resident of Brimfield Township who attended the forum, said she’s pleased by the department’s efforts.

“I think it’s important that we know where (sexual offenders) live,” Feezle said. “I have several small children. I always tell them to stay away from people they don’t know.”

A complete list of registered sexual offenders in Portage County can be found at

Contact public affairs reporter Trevor Ivan at [email protected].