A Georgia mayor is taking extra precautions to keep children in his town safe on Halloween night. Let's just say sex offenders on probation won't have the opportunity to entice kids with any candy that evening.
In a Facebook post, Mayor Gary E. Jones of the City of Groveton announced that all sex offenders on probation will be monitored by law enforcement and held in the Council Chambers between 6-9 p.m.
The mayor explained that four officers with the Georgia Department of Community Supervision District 10, along with one Groveton officer, will watch the 25 to 30 sex offenders living in the city.
Replies to the mayor's Facebook post were mixed; some users praised the move, some cracked jokes and others questioned its legality.
"Awesome job Mr. Mayor... Keep being proactive, hope you are working closely with authorities to keep our schools safe as well. Thank you and God bless," one man wrote.
Another cracked a joke at the announcement. "Sounds like you're setting up your own house of horrors," he said.
"Umm is that even legal ??," someone else questioned.
In a direct reply, Mayor Jones retorted, "It most certainly is; otherwise, I would not be doing it."
Still, some Facebook users weren't particularly pleased. One man called the mayor a fascist, and others stated that if these sex offenders have already paid their debt to society, they shouldn't be detained against their will or made to feel like animals.
"Wow... You know, I think that this is terrible. I am absolutely against any kind of sex abuse to children or anyone, but these 'offenders' have paid their debt to society," one woman wrote. "I pray they are walking as they should, but to place them in a building as a criminal is wrong. They were already judged, found guilty. Let them stay at home, let them follow the rules of their punishment."
Another individual suggested that the mayor was making this decision purely to get national media attention.
"This should get you on the national news and the publicity you seek," they replied.
After seeing all the responses, Mayor Jones made another Facebook post explaining that his decision is, in fact, legal.
"Friends I am not personally going to pick up, round up, call or go to any sex offender’s home. This is a joint effort with GA Community Probation Services. They are the ones with the authority under Special Conditions to require that offenders report... This is legal..... good grief!" he said.
What do you think? Should more cities follow suit, or did this mayor cross the line?