Officials check for sex offender compliance in Worth Co.

Officials check for sex offender compliance in Worth Co.
The Worth County Sheriff's office partnered with other law enforcement this week to conduct sex offender checks.

WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - The Worth County Interim Sheriff Don Whitaker says there is such a problem with convicted sex offenders in Worth County, that he wants to increase the amount of times they conduct sex offender compliance checks.

The Worth County Sheriff’s Office partnered with other law enforcement agencies this week to check on those sex offenders.

The sheriff’s office said making sure sex offenders are staying within their restrictions has been a successful mission.

Though several arrests where made in their efforts, Sheriff Whitaker tells me, it doesn’t stop here.

We know they are out there.

Steps away from our homes.

Inches away from our children.

But what is being done about sex offenders in Worth County?

“Last night we caught up with a few of them and we had to take action against them,” said Whitaker.

Don Whitaker. (Source: WALB)
Don Whitaker. (Source: WALB)

He said 28% of registered sex offenders in this judicial circuit are right here in Worth County.

The sheriff’s office web page shows nearly 60 registered offenders.

One woman said these numbers make her uncomfortable.

Latanya Brickle. (Source: WALB)
Latanya Brickle. (Source: WALB)

“I’m a mother of five so stuff like that is very scary,” said Latanya Brickle.

Fighting that fear, deputies from the sheriff’s office, United States Marshal’s Service, and undercover units, conducted compliance checks to make sure registered sex offenders are staying in their restrictions.

“Not just sex offenders but anybody that has restrictions on them or on probation or are on parole, sometimes they get complacent,” said Whitaker.

Ten arrests were made in their total operation.

The sheriff said the arrests were for several reasons like drugs and pornography found on their computers.

One Worth County resident said he wants these checks done more often.

Seth Atkins. (Source: WALB)
Seth Atkins. (Source: WALB)

“I think they should do it quarterly. And just keep up with them more often. It kind of just made you feel not really safe in your own home kind of,” said Seth Atkins.

Whitaker said it’s something he’d like to do more.

“It’s a year, that’s four quarters, so why not each quarter?,” said Brickle.

But for now, an annual check of sex offenders, will have to do.

Sheriff Whitaker also said they have a deputy in his office whose job is to check registered offenders in the county, which is another way they are keeping and eye on them.

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