TDOC Launches "Operation Blackout"

Friday, October 20, 2017 | 02:58pm

NASHVILLE - As kids across Tennessee put the final touches on their costumes; the Tennessee Department of Correction is taking additional measures to keep them safe this Halloween season with the launch of Operation Blackout.

Operation Blackout is a yearly, massive statewide sweep to ensure registered sex offenders under TDOC supervision follow strict guidelines leading up to and on Halloween. Hundreds of teams of TDOC probation parole officers work with local law enforcement to saturate communities across the state, conducting random visits and compliance checks on more than 3,000 sex offenders statewide between October 21 and the morning of November 1, including more than 1,100 visits on the night of Halloween. These checks are in addition to the daily supervision our officers perform year round.

“This is an exciting time of year for a lot of Tennessee families, and their safety is our number one priority,” says TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker. “We work each day to ensure offenders are in compliance. Operation Blackout enhances that work and sends a message that we will do whatever is necessary to protect our children and our communities.”

Seasonal restrictions for sex offenders include:

  • Will remain in their homes between the hours of 6:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m.
  • Will not have porch lights on as is the custom to participate in trick-or-treating.
  • Will not open their doors for trick-or-treaters.
  • Will only open their doors for law enforcement.
  • Will not be allowed to display fall decorations.
  • Will not be allowed to wear costumes or dress in disguise.
  • Will not be allowed to attend fall festivals or parties.

In 2016, TDOC probation parole officers conducted more than 3,000 checks on sex offenders during Operation Blackout, resulting in more than 400 violations.