After seeing success in past efforts to evaluate registered sex offenders in Georgia, the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office has begun its next phase of what it calls Operation Watchful Eye.
In this coordinated effort across all Georgia sheriffs’ offices, the offices participated in statewide residence verification and compliance checks and other noncompliant matters of registered sex offenders, according to a press release from the CCSO.
The purpose of these operations is to keep the state safe by creating awareness, the press release said. Sheriffs’ offices are required by law to register sex offenders and to keep the public informed of where registered sex offenders live, work and attend school.
Because of the success of the 2015 Watchful Eye Operation, Georgia sheriffs’ offices coordinated another operation under the name of Operation Watchful Eye III.
According to the press release, preliminary reporting shows that 65 sheriffs’ offices have a total of 10,601 registered sex offenders and 214 predators and 301 homeless sex offenders.
During the eight-day operation, 6,200 residence verifications were conducted, 35 new warrants were issued for violations of the sex offender registry law, 82 new sex offenders moved into the reporting counties, 13 warrants were issued for new sex offenses, 69 warrants were issued for residency violations of the sex offender registry and 46 warrants were issued for other new charges, according to the press release.
384 of these sex offenders left their address without notifying law enforcement.
In Athens-Clarke County, there were 142 residence verifications of registered sex offenders. Of those verifications, four offenders had left their registered residence, and two offenders were found to be in violation of residence requirements for which warrants were issued, according to the press release.