One sheriff’s office in Jackson, Georgia is going above and beyond for the children trick-or-treating this year on Halloween. Butts County deputies have been busy all day placing preventive signs stating, ‘No Trick or Treat’ in the front yards of registered sex offenders located in the county.
Sheriff Gary Long wrote on the Butts County Sherrif’s Office Facebook page:
As Sheriff, there is nothing more important to me than the safety of your children. 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. Georgia law forbids registered sex offenders from participating in Halloween, to include decorations on their property. With the Halloween on the square not taking place this year, I fully expect the neighborhoods to be very active with children trick-or-treating. Make sure to avoid houses which are marked with the attached posted signs in front of their residents. I hope you and your children have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your sheriff.
(These signs are placed In accordance with Georgia Law O.C.G.A. 42-1-12-i(5) which states the Sheriff shall inform the public of the presence of sexual offenders in each community)
According to Georgia law, registered sex offenders are prohibited from placing Halloween decorations on their property. This law is in place to detour families and trick-or-treaters from going up to known sex offenders doorsteps.
This is the first year the sheriff’s office has planted signs in yards for Halloween night. Before this year, the signs were on the doors. According to Sheriff Long, there are more than 50 sex offenders in Butts County. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations’ website shows close to 31,500 registered sex offenders in the state.
Another Georgia county is rounding up their county’s sex offenders and keeping them in city hall on Wednesday night where local law enforcement can keep a watchful eye. And yes, it’s totally legal to require paroled sex offenders to check into a specific location. This according to the Georgia Department of Community Supervision.
If you are worried about your family members trick-or-treating this year in your city, check with your local county sheriff’s office for the sex offender registry. Most counties have interactive maps (all public information) which you can use this Halloween.