Just because someone is a registered sex offender doesn't mean they can't hand out candy on Halloween - but for sex offenders under supervised probation, authorities will conduct random home visits of and enforce curfews in central Virginia on October 31.
Operation "Porch Lights Out," a joint effort between the Virginia Department of Corrections, Virginia State Police, and local law enforcement, aims to strengthen public safety throughout Virginia. According to the spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Corrections, sex offenders currently on supervised probation are either required to remain at home with their lights out or prohibited from answering the door for trick-or-treaters.
The operation aims to keep children safe when they could be vulnerable - on a night like Halloween.
There are 215 registered sex offenders on supervision between central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. State police advise parents and guardians to check the sex offender registry before taking their children out to trick-or-treat.
"So parents and guardians, like I said, I definitely encourage them to look at that so they have knowledge of when they go out trick-or-treating they're not going into areas where these individuals might be in if they want to stay away from those areas and such," said Virginia State Police trooper Scott Miller.
State police say they don't see an increase in sex crimes on Halloween. Operation "Porch Lights Out" is more about awareness.
To access the Virginia Sex Offender Registry, click here.