Grovetown community split on city’s halloween night plan for sexual offenders

Grovetown community split on city’s halloween night plan for sexual offenders

GROVETOWN, GA (WFXG) - The decision by Grovetown’s mayor to house sex offenders at city hall on Halloween is creating a lot of conversation around town. Mayor Gary Jones says they’ll be in council chambers from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Mixed feelings from the people living in Grovetown. All because of a Facebook post from Mayor Gary Jones saying “To ensure the safety of our children, all sex offenders on probation will be housed in the council chambers on Halloween night.”

“From my perspective it should be case by case. By who needs to go and who doesn’t,” says one parent, Bethany Williamson.

Another parent says she is conflicted on this as well. Claudia Hanks says she’s all for a safer environment for her children. Years ago she says someone tried to kidnap one of kids while trick or treating. She believes that person wasn’t a sexual offender. “I didn’t even see the person because people were dressed up in costumes and all of these kids running around back and forth.”

The City of Grovetown is working with the Department of Community Supervision & the Sheriff’s Office who will be overseeing between 25 to 30 sex offenders on Halloween night. One Grovetown Police Officer and Four Officers from the Supervision Department will be there with them.

“It would be no different than instructing an individual sex offender or otherwise to report to one of our offices,” says James Hill, Public Information Officer for the Department of Community Supervision. Hill says counties in the state do have the option to opt into this annual operation.

“I think it’s a good idea if they can pull it off. That way people don’t have to worry about their kids. They should still walk around with their kids and not let them go trick or treating by themselves,” says another parent, Tim Hester.

Despite the mixed opinions, the city says it’s better to be safe then sorry on Halloween night. FOX 54 called around the surrounding counties in Georgia in the viewing area. As of Monday, no one else is doing this.

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