Operation Blackout Sweeps Sex Offenders During Halloween

Posted at 10:27 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-31 23:27:21-04

Tricks and treats are all part of the fun on Halloween. But to make sure none of the scares become real-life nightmares, the state Department of Corrections is all-hands-on-deck.

"You need your vest, flashlight,  batons," said Specialized Caseload Worker Director Ian McCarty as he briefed dozens of parole officers Monday night.

Those officers and hundreds more from across the state team up every Halloween. They suit up in body armor and make a sweep of their hometowns.

This year they checked on 1100 of the state's high risk sex offenders, making sure they're far away from the action.

Knocking on people's doors, they do a walk-through of the homes. They say most offenders know the drill.

"Just have a seat in that chair and we'll take a quick walk-through," Parole and Probation Manager Carol Mathes told one former inmate during her sweep.

In Tennessee people on the sex offender registry are not allowed to have their porch lights on during hte fall holidays. Decorations are prohibited, as is candy. And the rules apply to both inside and outside the house.

"Tonight being such a family-focused night with all the children out we want to make sure the people under supervision are accounted for," McCarty said.

The curfew is 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

And they said this Halloween, everything ran smoothly. They say it's to ensure the holiday is only as spooky as families want it to be.