November 1, 2011
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Contact: Gretl Plessinger
State probation officers along with county and city law enforcement officers joined forces to target sex offenders and sex predators on Halloween to ensure they had no contact with trick-or-treaters. The goal of the operation was to visit the residences of EVERY sex offender and sex predator on community supervision in an 11-county area during the trick-or-treat hours to ensure these offenders were not violating the terms of their supervision. Offenders not complying with the terms of their supervision were subject to immediate arrest. A sex offender from Brevard County was arrested on a Violation of Probation warrant, and another offender (who was not a sex offender) was arrested in Seminole County on a Violation of Community Control warrant.
“I applaud our probation officers and our law enforcement partners who went the extra mile once again this Halloween to ensure the safety of our children. Our mission is public safety and our goal is to reduce victimization, and operations like this one are prime examples of how we accomplish those goals,” said Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker.
Law enforcement agencies and probation officers from Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Orange, Osceola, Polk, St. Lucie, Seminole and Volusia counties participated in the Operation. The Department of Corrections initiated similar operations in all counties of Florida.
Prior to Halloween, probation officers provided these specific instructions to each sexual offender and predator:
DO NOT decorate your residence or yard with Halloween décor;
DO NOT offer children candy or treats;
DO NOT dress in costume or Halloween attire;
DO NOT take your children Trick-or-Treating;
DO NOT turn on your porch light between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 pm;
DO NOT greet any children who may come to your residence; and
DO NOT attend Halloween celebrations or festivals where there are minors present.
Teams of probation officers and law enforcement officers conducted surveillance and visited the homes of approximately 1,400 offenders and predators to ensure they were in compliance with the instructions given.
This operation was the latest initiative conducted by members of the Central Florida Community Justice Coalition, an eleven-county cooperative of city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Many thanks to the following law enforcement agencies for participating and providing extra staff to protect our children and communities during this high-risk time:
Brevard County: Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Cocoa Police Department Rockledge Police Department, Melbourne Police Department, Palm Bay Police Department, Titusville Police Department; Indian River County: Indian River County Sheriff’s Office; Lake County: Lake County Sheriff’s Office; Martin County: Martin County Sheriff’s Office; Marion County: Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Dunnellon Police Department, Ocala Police Department; Polk County: Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County: Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County Probation; St. Lucie County: St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office; Volusia County: Daytona Beach Police Department, Daytona Beach Shores Police Department, Deland Police Department, Holly Hill Police Department, New Smyrna Police Department, Ormond Beach Police Department, Port Orange Police Department, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. Department of Corrections/Community Corrections: 5th Circuit Community Corrections – Lake County, Marion County, 7th Circuit Community Corrections – Volusia County, 9th Circuit Community Corrections – Orange County, Osceola County, 10th Circuit Community Corrections – Polk County, 18th Circuit Community Corrections – Brevard County, Seminole County, 19th Circuit Community Corrections – Indian River County, Martin County, St. Lucie County.