To protect neighborhoods and children on Halloween, the Los Angeles County Probation Department is conducting “Operation Safe Halloween,” an effort that has seen Probation’s Special Enforcement Unit visiting over 400 registered sex-offenders on probation throughout the County, resulting in arrests and drugs, guns, and ammunition seized. Operation Safe Halloween is a multi-agency effort that includes teams of probation deputies partnered with other law enforcement agencies.
L.A. County Chief Deputy Probation Officer Reaver Bingham oversees the adult services arm of the Probation Department and explained the reason behind this operation. “While our probation officers conduct compliance checks routinely, Operation Safe Halloween is critically important as it has as it goal the protection of one of our most valuable assets, our children.”
Starting in early September, Operation Safe Halloween begins with the Probation Department notifying sex-offenders on probation that they are not allowed to have decorations, hand out candy, or welcome children in any manner during the days leading up to and including Halloween. Probation deputies then follow up with visits to sex-offender homes to reinforce these restrictions as well as to look for any evidence that indicate that a probationer is in possession of items such as weapons, illegal drugs, or child pornography.
L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who rode along with probation officers during an early morning compliance check Monday, gave her support in tweet announcing, “The L.A. County Probation Department is in full force this week ensuring the children in our communities are safe while they celebrate Halloween.”
The results of Operation Safe Halloween through October 19 included 265 checks conducted, three guns seized, 13 arrests made, as well as several rounds of ammunition and drug paraphernalia seized. Other items seized included a crossbow, katana sword, binoculars, stun wand, and three box cutters. Reasons for arrests during the operation include sex-offenders living with minors, internet access, possession of a computer, recording cameras, shaved keys, and possession of a seven-inch blade, all probation violations. Updates on this data will be available at the end of the day October 30.