Operation Porch Lights Out Monitors Sex Offenders on Halloween Night
The NBC29 newsroom received the following news release from the Virginia Department of Corrections:
Virginia Department of Corrections to Again Monitor Sex Offenders on Halloween Night
Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) Director Harold Clarke announced plans this Halloween night to monitor sex offenders throughout the Commonwealth while children are trick-or-treating. Probation & Parole Officers, along with State Police and local law enforcement across the state, will monitor known sex offenders while children are trick-or-treating on Monday evening, October 31st.
Operation Porch Lights Out represents yet another collaborative effort between VADOC Community Corrections, State Police, and local law enforcement to further strengthen public safety in the Commonwealth. Through Operation Porch Lights Out offenders are required to remain at home with their lights out and not answer the door for trick-or-treaters or alternatively, they are required to attend a meeting at a secure location during the evening hours when children are likely to be trick-or-treating.
To ensure offender compliance, consistent with their supervisory responsibilities, VADOC Probation and Parole Officers along with law enforcement officers will make random home visits. If offenders attend organized meetings, they are required to participate in educational sessions and drug and alcohol screening while law enforcement provides oversight of any existing warrants. The Virginia State Police also participate by verifying and updating each offender's registration on the State Police Sex Offender Registry.
As part of the VADOC mission to enhance public safety, the operation will monitor a high-risk population during a time when children could be vulnerable.
"This operation has proven successful since 2001 because it enhances public safety through collaboration with other agencies with the goal of protecting children," said Director Clarke. "It is one of the many services we provide to communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia."
VADOC Community Corrections supervises about 56,250 probationers and parolees across the state. Of those, about 3,700 are sex offenders.