Governor appoints Barrow sheriff to sex offender board

WINDER -- Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith calls protecting children the centerpiece of his administration. His commitment has been noticed in high places.

Gov. Nathan Deal recently appointed Smith to the Georgia Sexual Offender Registration Review Board, an appointed group of 15 from around the state.

The board reviews and determines the likelihood a sex offender will engage in another crime against a minor, or any other dangerous sexual offense. The board consists of five regional boards, with three members in each region, said Sheriff's Department spokesman Investigator Matt Guthas.

To protect minor crime victims "is the primary reason I wanted to serve as sheriff," Smith said in a statement. "I will never relent in my pursuit of sexual predators."

The board is tasked with assigning a classification for all sex offenders, labeling them either "Level One," "Level Two" or "Sexual Predators." Those assessments are used by criminal justice professionals throughout the state, Guthas said.

When released from jail or prison, all offenders identified by the board as sexual predators will be required to be place on electronic monitoring, Guthas said.