BRANDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Families in northern Oakland County unhappy with their soon-to-be new neighbors packed a township meeting Monday to fight plans to house sex offenders and other criminals in their neighborhood.
Brandon Township residents are afraid and concerned about who's joining the neighborhood. Recently two parolees moved into a house, and more are expected to come, leaving homeowners perplexed by the move.
"They didn't move out here to live across from a prison," resident Jim Kacanowski said.
With its white picket fence and dumpster out front, a home across from Kacanowski's granddaughters is housing former inmates. All of the inmates are men and some are sex offenders.
"Tier one and tier two sex offender," Kacanowski said.
Frustration and fear are two words Kacanowski used to describe his feelings.
"It doesn't sit well with me at all," Kacanowski said.
His sentiment was echoed by many residents at a township meeting Monday night, but people were turned away. In that crowd, Kacanowski's 15-year-old granddaughter, Ella, talked about her fear at home.
"I can't go home and stay alone in my home because of what's across the street," Ella said.
The home's new owner found a loophole in the state law that allows for adult group homes to go into residential neighborhoods. Brandon Township leaders told the angry crowd it's unclear if they can prevent the six soon-to-be ex-offenders from moving in, but they're looking into it.
"If they allow it to continue, they're giving the green light for any neighborhood," Kacanowski said.
Until then, homeowners said they will do more than just rely on deputies patrolling the neighborhood. They are talking about doing their own patrols at night, and they're hired an attorney to fight the new neighbors.