'Operation Blackout' keeps track of sex offenders on Halloween

Posted at 8:56 PM, Oct 24, 2018

Tennessee Department of Correction officials checked in on registered sex offenders in the mid-state Wednesday night, as part of their annual 'Operation Blackout.'

Officers visited the homes of offenders, who are under the department's supervision, on Halloween night to make sure they are following specific rules. Officers made one arrest in Nashville on Wednesday when a registered sex offender refused to let the officers search their home. TDOC made 12 arrests state-wide in the days leading up to Halloween. 

"We have a lot of Tennessee families out in our communities and we want to make sure we are out, showing our presence, making sure if they have any questions they can ask us and making sure sex offenders are complying with our rules and regulations," TDOC probation and parole manager Carol Mathes said. 

Each offender was required to follow the guidelines listed below in order to keep innocent trick or treaters off of their door step:

  • Being in their homes by 6pm
  • Not having any Halloween décor
  • Keeping their porch light off
  • Not distributing Halloween candy
  • Not attending any Halloween functions

Officers visited 295 sex offenders in the mid-state area and about 850 across Tennessee. 

TDOC officers also looked for routine violations, like possession of items that violate the terms of their parole and probation. 

"If they aren't in compliance...we can do anything from a sanction to a warrant," Mathes said. 

In 2017, "Operation Blackout" led to one arrest on Halloween night.

The Tennessee sex offender registry can be searched online or people can search the sex offender registry map for any threats in their community.