It’s the job of Lt. Mark Blanton and Cpl. Ron Morris of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office to make sure those wee monsters are protected from those who may want to harm them.
On Monday, the Sheriff’s Office unveiled Floydcountysheriff.org, a new website at that allows parents to pinpoint the exact locations of Floyd County’s 196 registered sex offenders.
Click here to search the state sex offender registry.
For the past few weeks, Morris has been visiting registered offenders to confirm their addresses, a job he does many times throughout the year.
Unlike in Tennessee, where sex offenders are forbidden from placing any kind of Halloween decorations or even answering their doors to trick-or-treaters, Georgia law does not impose such restrictions.
“We really want the parents to be aware where the sex offenders are in the neighborhoods,” Morris said. “They need to use caution when going trick-or-treating. With the new website, you can subscribe so you can get updates in your e-mail.”
The new mapping system is done locally and does not rely on state officials or others who may not be familiar with the area.
For example, there are four Lindsay streets and someone outside Floyd County could get them confused, Blanton said.
The new site has additional details such as what kind of cars the registrants drive and any tattoos they may have.
“The state asked us to start gathering that kind of information,” Blanton said.
The website also alerts parents to the “level” of the sex offender, based on the crimes and the possibility that they will reoffend.
The level is determined by a sex offender review board that consists of three people in each of the five regions of the state drawn by the Department of Human Resources.
Floyd County does not have any Level 3 sex offenders —those who are considered sexual predators and the most dangerous — Blanton said. Such local offenders all are in jail or prison, he said.
The state sex offender registry requirements have changed over the years in response to court challenges and new restrictions put in place by the Georgia Legislature.
For example, as of July, any sex offender who committed their crime before 2003 can now live anywhere. Before, they were forbidden from living within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare, church or anywhere children congregate.
That law still applies to those convicted of sex crimes after 2003.