As trick-or-treaters put the final touches on their costumes, the Tennessee Department of Correction is already taking additional measures to keep them safe this Halloween with the launch of Operation Blackout. Operation Blackout began Thursday night (10/22/15) and is a yearly, massive statewide sweep to ensure registered sex offenders under TDOC supervision follow strict guidelines for the fall season and Halloween. Hundreds of teams of TDOC probation parole officers work with local law enforcement to saturate communities across the state, conducting random visits and compliance checks on sex offenders.
Last night, officers conducted more than 300 compliance checks, resulting in one arrest, one citation, and four violations. These extra checks will be conducted on 3,500 sex offenders statewide through Halloween. Operation Blackout builds on the daily supervision of the roughly 80,000 offenders on probation and parole across Tennessee. "We always work hard year round to ensure offenders are in compliance," says TDOC Commissioner Derrick Schofield. "Operation Blackout enhances that work and sends a message that we will do whatever is needed to protect our children and our communities from any potential threats."
October 31st restrictions for sex offenders include:
- Will remain in their homes between the hours of 6:00p.m-6:00a.m.
- Will not have porch lights on as is the custom to participate in trick-or-treating.
- Will not open their doors for trick-or-treaters. Will only open their doors for law enforcement or probation and parole officers.
- Will not be allowed to display fall decorations.
- Will not be allowed to wear costumes or dress in disguise.
In 2014, TDOC probation parole officers conducted more than 3,000 checks on sex offenders during Operation Blackout.