KGUN 9News


U.S. Marshals protect trick-or-treaters from the threat of sex offenders

Posted at 9:08 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 00:08:43-04
Deputy U.S. Marshals, Task Force Officers, Tucson Police, Pima County Sheriff deputies and other partners worked together across Pima County to help keep trick-or-treaters away from sex offenders.
Operation Safe Treat targets fugitive sex offenders, child predators with outstanding arrest warrants, and those wanted for crimes against children. 
The operation is on its 9th year and makes sure a select group of offenders follow their probation rules. 
"They can have no Halloween decorations, they can't have porch lights on, can't have anything visible that would potentially lure a trick or treater to the front door," said Barbara Johnson, Pima County Adult Probation's Sex Offender Unit Supervisor. 
Johnson says officers begin assessing an offender when they pull up to a person's home. 
"The alarms go off is when we pull up and we find pumpkins lining the driveway or we find a ghost hanging from the eve then the alarms start to go off for us about what may be happening behind that front door," she said.
This Halloween season so far across the state, officers arrested 73 offenders and cleared 84 warrants. 
She says the one thing about the offender population is that they look just like everyone else. 
"You can't just look and say this is where I shouldn't go, but be advised that many people are out walking around in costume and what better disguise is that to potentially perpetrate an offense," she explained. 
There are 893 registered sex offenders living in Tucson, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.