TN: Here’s how to keep your kids safe on Halloween

Source: 10/18/21

The Tennessee Department of Corrections is working to keep kids safe from predators on Halloween.

TDOC launched ‘Operation Blackout’ earlier this month, an annual statewide operation to ensure sex offenders are complying with the conditions of their supervision, including special condition related to the Halloween holiday, according to a release from TDOC.

All registered sex offenders must follow a specific set of rules: no Halloween decorations, no attending Halloween/fall events, no giving out Halloween candy, and porch lights must be turned off on Halloween night.

According to the release, there are just under 4,000 sex offenders living in Tennessee.

TDOC will be performing unannounced home checks all month and will be out in neighborhoods on Halloween to conduct compliance checks.

The department shared helpful tips for parents to keep kids safe during trick-or-treating:

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What a nice little fear mongering in the month of Spooktober!! Anybody can be a parent, but a great parent doesn’t need a list to protect their offspring. They protect them 24/7/365 with good ole parenting skills. Don’t be sheep not everyone on a list is a creep.

Sent this to Mearl Purvis:

Dear Fox13:

As a viewer, I wanted to share some feedback on a news story about how to keep kids safe on Halloween (

Community policing of sex offenders (“Operation Blackout”) is something that may come first to mind in ensuring children’s safety at Halloween. While these types of stories may make parents feel more at ease about celebrating the holiday, it actually does the public a disservice with respect to the actual historical dangers faced by children during trick-or-treating.

For context, these policing actions are a relatively new phenomena, yet I can’t recall any reports ever of a child being endangered by a registered sex offender while out having fun on Halloween. In fact, I couldn’t even find a story out there on the Internet of this happening in our area either. Fact is, there is no increase in sexual offense rates on the holiday, according to the ATSA. (see The reason this is a fact is because most sexual offenses happen within close relational contexts (relatives, friends, close family associates, positions of authority). Offenses committed by strangers is a very small fraction of the overall scope of the scourge of sexual violence, yet it’s the one that gets the headlines and is the basis for most of our laws regulating those who have committed these offenses.

What I want to encourage the station to consider is this: with our society more divisive than ever, is it helpful to continue to post stories with little merit that pit neighbors against each other in their communities? This is just one more way in which the social fabric is being ripped apart. Instead, I suggest we let law enforcement do their work and don’t perpetuate unsubstantiated fear by posting these stories, which only serves to divert their resources in unhelpful ways when we really need officers out there making sure motorists are being mindful of children on their streets. To this end I want to contrast a story WYFF4 posted last year before Halloween ( with one that regrettably aired after Halloween by Fox News ( The fact is, children are at four times the risk of being hit and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year (

Let’s raise awareness about the real dangers at Halloween and ensure our children have a safer holiday this year.

Thank you,

This is lame az hell, but Tennessee only has 4000 sex offenders so they can’t really make a difference like people here in California, we have over 104.000 offenders here we could literally destroy the registry in one Major peaceful protest at the state Capitol.
But people are still afraid of law enforcement and trying live normal lives even though their not Accepted in society.

.Stay focused y’all.

AERO1. – I have a sister that lives in the Chattanooga Valley area and TN has its ups and downs. Sure I visited Gatlinburg TN in my teen years and TN is a beautiful valley. At least it was back in the 60’s even a brother in Florida that became a dentist now retired. Yes all I can say is parenting is a big responsiblty and if one is on the registry it can be a bit shaky ground also to family members.

Nothing wrong with a little bit of gospel in one’s life but look at authorities they seem to take things a bit to far. Sure nothing wrong with parenting if that’s one’s goal in life but when one of the kid’s say dad why can’t we have the lights on and I pass out candy instead of going out for Trick or Treat dad is in a pickle barrel bind to explain to kids why porch lights have to be out. I mentioned pickle barrel and yes that is a restuaunt in Gatlinburg TN or use to be now I think its based out of Chattanooga.

Usually some parents go with their kids or the kids go in a bunch… safety in numbers. Sure I lived in a college or university town from a coal mining town. Even coal mining has strip mining regulations and a lot of others but ACSOL’s main focus is the Sex registry and how to come to a viable solution to help others on this registry. Even the Shenandoah Parkway is 10 minutes from my door. Could you just imagine getting pulled over in a National Park.

I see much of this registry as very unconstuctive for any individual or United States that gets caught up in this. Sure their are women on this registry to but mostly men or sons of families. Seems government at times is going to hell in a handbag and now we have all types of social classifications or labels that can be just as annoying so were is truth in government today or was Jesus always around sinners. This registry is full of holes that don’t actually protect… its like the blind guide leading the blind guide in the wrong type of situation or manner.

Wouldn’t the simplest answer to the headline be “Be sure a trusted adults is with your kids at all times?” If you rely on the registry to keep your kids “safe” while they’re out alone, you’re a very bad parent.

Do these restrictions apply to all registrants in Tennessee or just those on paper?

One more comment. Growing up my dad was a CPA and yes he had a responsiblity. Doing the books or mismanagement does not show a responsible person. Yes if I were married, myself , or my wife would go out with the kids and yes that is the respectable thing to do as many have mentioned on here. Respect & respecting comes in many different ways and in many different forms.

In this registry who’s respecting who? Yes that’s the only reasonable answer I have. Today after the invent of the internet, things seem to be going downhill for the one on the registry that got entangled with it. Call it an easier method to snag up a person or snatch his Halloween bag of candy.

One has to look at the registry as a bit unprofessional in many ways of government and it is of a type of: he said she said ordeal. Yes one can tell how resourceful and trained those police officers are if one keeps their ears open and listen more and yes these law enforcement personal they are trained and sly and very foxy. I don’t know that much about the inside workings of an internet and yes I use my internet for graphic work for my accounts and business contacts.

While I use to be a magician.. I did a D.A.R.E. program for the kids, several church parties and birthdays but all that was in the past. Here I’m coming up for my probational completion but still many and much of this registry is very unjust in the method and the assumption and the conviction. But one has to remember the just are bless not the justice so a bit of hanky-pank is a bit much in government.

Their has to be a responsiblty for many things, but mismanage of anything can be bad as in the responsiblity of kids tricking or treating. Sure government, or law or law enforcement mis-management is no different so were does the responsiblity lay or is government going a bit to far in the management of the governed. P.S. My hope is many and much of this registry is unconstitutional and it should be banned in many ways.

They even included a “snitch” hotline. Because of course…

So many things wrong with this. If you’re not on parole or probation, then what jurisdiction does the department of corrections have over you? None. I don’t live in Tennessee, but if I did, I would never comply with this kind of B.S. I’m not on parole so if I want to go to a halloween party, no one is going to tell me I can’t. If I want to have my porch lights on for security reasons, I’ll be damned if someone is going to tell me to turn them off. If they were to come knocking at my door, I wouldn’t answer. In my State and neighborhood, door to door trick or treating is a rare thing anyway. Most kids are going to parties hosted by the schools. That’s what my 8 year old daughter will be doing, and I’ll be there with her because the recent Does decision said I can.
I live in Oakland County Michigan, and in my opinion has the worst drivers in the State. People don’t care about 25 mph zones. Every day on my way home from work I drive through a school zone while students are being dismissed but drivers don’t care. They pass me like I’m standing still. Yet its the sex offenders who pose the danger to kids, not idiot drivers. A kid is more likely to be a victim of tampered candy on halloween than to be molested by a registrant. All this BS hype about us being a danger on halloween makes my blood boil and I’m so sick of it. Who in their right mind is going to snatch up and molest a kid while the parent or guardian is right there with them?
What’s next? Can’t celebrate Christmas? I do what I want and everyone in Tennessee who is not on parole should do what they want too, because after all, the registry isn’t punishment, right?

Can anyone tell me – if or when a green notice is sent out, is ot sent out to ALL countries or only the country that you are traveling to?