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Operation "Safe Treat" aims to keep sex offenders off the streets on Halloween

"What other holiday does a potential victim show up at your front door with the lure of candy?"
Posted at 10:27 PM, Oct 31, 2019

TUCSON, Ariz. — "What other holiday does a potential victim show up at your front door with the lure of candy," Barbara Johnson posits.

Johnson is head of the sex offender program at Pima County's Adult Probation department.

Pima County Sheriff's Deputies geared up, and by their side, United States Marshals, headed out in force.

"Halloween is supposed to be a fun night where you get scared a little and you get to go be something you never thought you could be before," Chief Deputy Marshal of the Arizona District, Tim Hughes said.

"We're taking out the element of true fear. We're making sure the streets are safe for our kids."

The true fear, according Hughes: convicted sex offenders having an interaction with anyone on Halloween night.

"They cannot have any Halloween decorations outside, at all, of any sort," Johnson said.

Offenders on probation are not allowed to give candy, hang lights, have carved pumpkins out front, or even have a Halloween themed party.

The conditions of their probation strictly require them to stay home, and that's where deputies went to make sure they answered their door.

"The message is that Pima County, Tucson, U.S. Marshals Service are committed to keeping the streets safe so your kids can enjoy (the night)," Hughes said.

"It's part of what we do, really kind of, all year round," Johnson said.

"This is just our collaborative and collective effort to come together this time of year."