Halloween Doesn't Have To Be Spooky
The Tennessee Department of Correction is working to keep your children safe this Halloween season.
NASHVILLE – Every day across this great state, the staff of the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) supervises more than 20-thousand inmates and nearly 80-thousand offenders on community supervision. Nearly 3,500 of those under community supervision are registered sex offenders. TDOC’s mission is to enhance public safety for all Tennesseans including our most vulnerable citizens – our children. That’s why every October the Department launches a special operation entitled Operation Blackout.
While Operation Blackout is an extra layer of accountability during the Halloween season, TDOC has strict rules regarding sex offenders that must be enforced daily. According to Correctional Administrator Sue Siedentop, “Our officers do a great job ensuring that offenders adhere to the conditions of their supervision. But during Halloween – when thousands of children are going to be going door to door – our officers will be out in the community to make sure that these kids have a safe night.”
During Halloween, sex offenders under TDOC supervision are informed of a very specific set of rules they must follow. They include:
• Being in their homes by 6 p.m.
• Not having any Halloween décor
• Keeping their porch light off
• Not distributing Halloween candy
• Not attending any Halloween functions (Hallelujah Night, Harvest Festivals, etc.)
TDOC Officers will canvas the area and visit more than 3,500 offenders to ensure compliance.
While TDOC officers will be out enhancing public safety, there are some things that you can do to ensure that your child has a safe night full of treats and not tricks.
• Go with your child on Halloween night. This is not only a good way to keep your child safe but is a prime time to get to know your neighbors better.
• If you choose to let your child go out without adult supervision, make sure you know where your child will be trick-or-treating.
• Before you go out on Halloween night, check the TBI Sex Offender Registry to know which houses you should avoid.
• If you see any suspicious activity, please contact your local law enforcement agency.
• If you see a TDOC offender at a Halloween event or with holiday décor, please call 1-844-TDC-FIND and report it.
According to Acting Assistant Commissioner of Community Supervision Lisa Helton, “Operation Blackout provides all registered sex offenders under the supervision of the Tennessee Department of Correction with additional restrictions during a time when families and children are out in the community enjoying festivals and activities. This operation is part of our commitment to public safety and ensuring that all Tennesseans can enjoy a happy and safe Halloween.”
To learn more about Operation Blackout click on the link below.
Media wanting to cover the event in Middle Tennessee should call Faith Seifuddin at (629) 395-0360 or email Faith.Seifuddin@tn.gov, in West Tennessee call Tylee Tracer at (629) 215-0284 or email Tylee.Tracer@tn.gov, and in East Tennessee call Robert Reburn at (615) 920-3361 or email Robert.A.Reburn@tn.gov.