UPDATE: TDOC releases statewide results of "Operation Blackout" - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: TDOC releases statewide results of "Operation Blackout"

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Officials with the Tennessee Department of Correction say they continued to advance their mission of enhancing the safety of Tennessee communities by conducting "Operation Blackout." 

Operation Blackout is a yearly, massive statewide sweep to ensure registered sex offenders under TDOC supervision follow strict guidelines for the fall season and Halloween.

During the 10-day operation, TDOC Probation Parole Officers collaborated with local law enforcement agencies to perform compliance checks on more than 3,000 sex offenders statewide.  

Between October 21 and October 30, officers conducted 3,026 checks, netting 378 violations.  

On October 31, officers conducted 1,214 checks, uncovering 33 violations.  

Offenders found to be in non-compliance could face sanctions, a violation report and warrant request, or arrest. 

Operation Blackout builds on the daily supervision performed by probation and parole across Tennessee and demonstrates TDOC’s ongoing commitment to Tennessee communities by ensuring offenders on Community Supervision are compliant and held accountable for their actions. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The Tennessee Department of Correction's "Operation Blackout" is underway. It's an annual effort to protect trick-or-treaters from the more than 3,500 registered sex offenders statewide. 

Operation Blackout is a massive statewide sweep to ensure that sex offenders underneath the Tennessee Department of Correction's supervision, follow strict guidelines this fall season. Officials say there will hundreds of additional officers out on the street Halloween night, making sure kids stay safe. 
 
Hundreds of officers across the state are conducting pre-Halloween checks this week by visiting the homes of 3,142 registered sex offenders.
That includes more than 1,200 registered sex offenders in East tn and there will be additional checks on Halloween night. 

"They can't have their porch lights on, they can't open their doors for trick- or-treaters and they can only open their doors for law enforcement," said Alison Randgaard, Public Information Officer for Tennessee Department of Corrections. 

Registered sex offenders have to remain inside their homes from 6 pm - to 6 am until November first. They can't dress up or attend any parties and they can't decorate. 

"Stay with your children at all times, don't let them out of your sight, don't let them go into a situation where you are not comfortable," said Detective Mike Cox, Hamilton County Sheriff's Dept. 

Detective Mike Cox helps monitor 441 registered sex offenders in Hamilton County. He encourages all parents to take a look at the state's online sex offender registry.

"The website Tbi.gov is very easy to navigate, very easy to search and you can search it all kinds of different ways by zip code, by city or by county," said Det. Cox. 

Last year, corrections officers uncovered 280 violations during the pre-Halloween checks statewide and an additional 127 violations were found Halloween night. 

"The most common violation would probably be not reporting on time when they're supposed to or moving without notification," said Det. Cox. 

The map is a helpful tool but it's not fail safe, stay together and trust your instincts. If you see anyone in violation or anything out of the ordinary in your neighborhood, don't hesitate to call your local authorities. 

Deputies say children should always trick-or treat with an adult, especially under the age of 12. Make sure you  don't eat any candy that is not properly wrapped or appears suspicious. 

Children are also encouraged to carry flashlights to help light their way and make them more noticeable to oncoming traffic. 

Click here to visit TBI's online sex offender registry.

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