Town Rounds Up Sex Offenders For Halloween, Another Puts 'No Trick Or Treat' Signs In Yards
Halloween is a couple of days away and thousands of kids will hit the streets in search of candy. Some authorities are taking extra measures to ensure their safety.
In Butts County, Georgia, 'No Trick Or Treat' signs have been placed in front of the homes of registered sex offenders in a bid to warn off any children who may approach the houses.
"This Halloween, my office has placed signs in front of every registered sex offender's house to notify the public that it's a house to avoid," Butts County Sheriff Gary Long said in a Facebook post.
The move is a step up on the already existing Georgia law which prohibits registered sex offenders from decorating their homes for Halloween.
The county originally held an annual Halloween event for about 2,500 to 4,000 children, Long told 11Alive.
With organisers not holding the event this year, authorities are concerned children will instead go door-to-door to trick-or-treat instead.
"There are some sex offenders that are not happy, " Long said.
"But I’m not in the business of making them happy. I’m in the business of keeping safe communities and making sure that our children are protected."
The Sheriff said there are more than 50 sex offenders in the county.
Meanwhile in Grovetown, located just over two hours away from Butts County, moves to ensure no kids encounter sex offenders on Halloween are also being made.
Plans to round up registered sex offenders on probation and house them in city hall were announced by Mayor Gary. E Jones on Facebook just over a week ago.
The plan will see offenders, of which there are approximately 25-30 according to the Facebook post, kept between 6pm and 9pm under the supervision of local police officers and the Georgia Department of Community Supervision.
The action has received a mixed response from the community, sparking debate over the legality of the plan -- that is, to detain a group of people who are on probation.
In response to the criticism, Jones posted on Facebook again to insist the plan was legal, stating the Georgia Department of Community Supervision can require offenders to report to a specific location at any time.
These restrictions on sex offenders are nothing new in the U.S., with parts of Virginia, Delaware and Texas also requiring offenders on probation or parole report to a designated location.