Thousands of children will dress up in Halloween costumes to go trick-or-treating Thursday night. 

The Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) wants to make sure kids stay say while going door to door. 

Director of Specialized Case Loads Elizabeth Gentzler said Operation Blackout runs from October 21-31. 

Officers are visiting the homes of sex offenders across the state to ensure they are adhering to certain rules during Halloween. 

"We pull in officers from all over, officers with the department of correction, both in the specialized units and our regular probation officers who help as well," Gentzler said. "We are active we go out at 6 in the morning and we go until late at night."

She said sex offenders must follow these rules during Halloween: 

  • Be inside by 6 p.m. 
  • No Halloween decorations
  • Keep porch light off
  • No distribution of Halloween candy 
  • No attending Halloween functions

"We want parents to feel safe," Gentzler said. "We want family members to feel safe for their children and we want children to be safe. We want them to not worry about what home they're going to go to and get candy from and we want them to have a great time."

You can check to see the locations of registered sex offenders on TBI's website here.  

Here are a few safety precautions released by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office: 

  • Children should always trick-or-treat with an adult, especially those under the age of 12
  • If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups
  • Know the area your children are trick-or-treating in and if there are any sexual predators in that particular neighborhood or area
  • Do not eat any candy that is not properly wrapped or appears suspicious
  • Parents should look and sort through all candy received to check for problems or suspicious items
  • Tell your children to NEVER go inside someone’s house they don’t know
  • Make sure your children’s costumes are visible and have reflective markings, flashlights and/or glow lights