COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Muscogee County Sheriff's officials are doing what they can to make sure the nearly 300 hundred registered sex offenders living in Columbus won't be handing out candy to children this Halloween. [Click here to view a map of sex offenders across GA.]
In the meantime, deputies are on the streets- checking to see if offenders are indeed living where they're registered.
"On Halloween night, patrol units and our Sex Offender Units are going to be out in the community and the county making sure all the sex offenders are being checked on, keeping a close eye on them. Basically. Our number one priority is the safety and welfare of the children that are going to be out that evening," said Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr.
Sex offenders in Columbus aren't required to identify their house in any way on Halloween but the sheriff says those on probation or parole will be required to be at the probation office that night and go straight home or to work afterwards.
For those that are home, deputies will be keeping an eye on them.
"There's so much happening in today's society, we need to protect the children. Halloween is not the way it's supposed to be. Now, you have a lot of predators out there preying on kids. Keeping them safe is good for the community and also good for the parents," said Columbus resident Olentha Johnson.
That's what the city needs. There are a lot of different crimes that have been going on lately in Columbus so I would imagine that they're going to go the extra mile as far as the kids in the community," added Laura Purnell, who also lives in Columbus.
This year, Halloween is being observed in Columbus on Saturday, October 30th from 6-9 PM.