Officers make rounds on Halloween to check on sex offenders

Officers make rounds on Halloween to check on sex offenders

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By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -   Local and state law enforcement are making the rounds on Halloween to protect trick or treaters from sex offenders.

According to the Department of Corrections, on Wednesday night a registered sex offender was arrested in Loudon County for violating the sex offender registry law.

In Knox County, there were two sex offenders that were not home during the required curfew. Warrants are being issued first thing Thursday morning.

During what is known as Operation Blackout, more than 30 officers combed 17 counties to ensure sex offenders were not participating in Halloween.

In North Knoxville, two department of correction officers made the rounds, checking on more than half a dozen sex offenders.

"We want them in their houses to make sure they aren't in the community attending any Halloween festivities," said Erin Monroe, a parole officer in Knoxville.

The officers check on the sex offenders regularly, but come Halloween night, the enforcement is increased.

"We just want to make sure when the kids are out going door-to-door that they can feel safe in the community and not have to worry that there might be a predator answering the door and dealing with their children," Monroe said.

 For parents that live on one of the streets checked by the officers, Halloween can be a scary night.

"[My daughter] goes out with her 18-year-old cousin so it's always scary when she's not with you," said Brandy Cooper, who's six-year-old daughter was out trick-or-treating.

"I appreciate the officers, it's reassuring."

"Throughout the night, the department of corrections will check on 150 homes, reporting any infractions. Since the operation's inception there have been improvements.

"They feel our presence, in their home, in the community, so I think that public safety is always enhanced a little more each year that we're out there and doing these checks," Monroe explained.

As part of the strict enforcement on Halloween, registered sex offenders have a curfew from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. 

Sex offenders are not allowed to hand out candy or decorate for the holiday.

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