The Sheriff wrote the signs were placed “in accordance with Georgia Law O.C.G.A. 42-1-12-i(5),” in a post on the Butts County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page Saturday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations website says the law states, “The sheriff’s office in each county shall: Inform the public of the presence of sexual offenders in each community.”
In previous years, Long said, his deputies have visited the offenders, completed the mandatory compliance checks a few weeks beforeand placed a sign on the door warning trick-or-treaters about the residents. But this year, the second-term Sheriff wanted to increase visibility due to a change in night programming.
In the past, the sheriff told CBS News, there was a large trick-or-treating event in the town square, where local businesses, the police and fire departments would hand out candy to the kids. Long says 2,500 to 4,000 children attended the event each year. The program was canceled this year, and thousands of kids will be trick-or-treating the old fashioned way: house-to-house.
While Long says most of the sex offenders “understood,” he did receive a few emails from offenders saying the signs were an “embarrassment.”
“At the end of the day, I don’t care if they do like it or if they don’t like it. My job us to ensure the safety of the children and the community and that’s what I’m going to do,” Long told CBS News., adding that he’s received positive feedback from some parents and community members about the signs.
Long said deputies would remove the signs by Thursday morning.