Mayor's Halloween roundup plan for sex offenders not unanimously supported

A mayor in Georgia this week announced a plan to round up and hold sex offenders on Halloween night while children are out trick-or-treating -- but not everyone supports the idea.

Grovetown Mayor Gary Jones wrote on Facebook that the plan to gather the area’s 25-to-30 sex offenders in the city’s Council Chambers is intended to ensure “the safety of our children” on the night as well known for its fun as its frights. The policy applies only to sex offenders on probation.

Jones said five officers will keep an eye on the offenders from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at city hall.

“It’s a good tool to remove temptation or those thought processes from those individuals,” Jones told the Augusta Chronicle of the policy.

However, the Halloween precaution sparked a debate among city’s residents.

"This is terrible," one Facebook user wrote in reply to Jones’ post. "I am absolutely against any kind of sex abuse to children or anyone, but these 'offenders' have paid their debt to society. 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."

Resident Betsy Bishop, whose neighbor is a registered sex offender, told Augusta station WRDW-TV that the policy “puts my mind at ease” when thinking about her 8-year-old granddaughter trick-or-treating.

"[Mayor Jones] is doing a good job if he does get them off the street for Halloween," Bishop said.