Not many answers for Camp Union residents

More than 200 area residents vented their frustrations and asked questions about the placement of a 13-year-old sex offender on Cantu Lane in Camp Union during a Jan. 30 meeting at the Silverdale Community Center.

Unfortunately, the unruly crowd didn’t get most of their questions about Nicholas Stroeder answered, as officials from the state Department of Social and Health Services and Catholic Community Services repeatedly cited confidentiality concerns.

“Because of confidentiality and respect for the client, I can’t talk about issues of diagnosis,” DSHS regional director Todd Henry said several times.

Many residents were angry about the way the state agency brought the teen into the county without the required 14-day notice.

“There are 200 people here and we didn’t come here to find out how to put up with this,” Mike Noster said. “We’re here because we’re upset.”

Noster’s wife Masami operates the state-licensed 4M Day Care in Camp Union.

“The same department (DSHS) that issues the license doesn’t have the responsibility to contact us when those kids are placed in jeopardy when they place a dangerous child in our area,” Noster said. “Why can’t somebody claim ownership and make us feel safe in our neighborhood? ... Our day care has been affected by this.”

One woman expressed the thoughts of many in the audience.

“We don’t know where this kid’s coming from,” she said. “And you’re putting him in a situation where people don’t know him. All they know is what he did and no one wants him here.”

Chris Robinson of the DSHS Children and Family Services Division said the state was doing what it could to keep the neighborhood safe.

“We are doing everything we are able to do to provide the extra supervision that we can without throwing him behind bars, which we are not legally allowed to do,” Robinson said. “The alternative is that he is in a home unsupervised without treatment, and I don’t think anybody in this room wants this.”

Several audience members said that Stroeder needs to be out of Kitsap county completely.

“He didn’t get out of jail and pick our road because he had relatives there or some other reason to be there,” Cantu Lane resident Brian Henry said. “The system put him there.”

“What I hear from you people is that he’s misunderstood and your concerned for his well-being,” said an unidentified man before he left the building. “I want to know what you’re concern is for our children. ... He needs to be away from our kids. Period.”

“All of you need to bite the bullet and admit you made a mistake in placing Nicholas in our neighborhood,” another person added.

Mary Stone-Smith, a CCS official involved in the teen’s treatment, responded by saying her agency was actively looking for a different location for Stroeder.

“Our hope is to get him back up to his community (Whidbey Island) and we are looking for a home in that area,” Stone-Smith said.

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