Operation Boo: checking in on local sex offenders on Halloween

Local News

California Department of Corrections arrested two parolees on Halloween this year during their annual Operation Boo.

For 26 years, the operation has been a statewide program to check on local child sex offenders to make sure they’re in compliance on this night.

“This is one of the nights in the community that strangers go to one another’s houses knocking on doors,” explained parole agent Kyle Smith.

On Halloween, Smith’s team specifically checks on parolees who’ve victimized children in the past, with crimes such as child molestation or sex with a minor. There are 99 of them in Bakersfield.

The rules for these parolees on Halloween include no candy, lights, or decorations, and they must be at home.

For parolees who they don’t find at home, the agents will track them down by a GPS kept on their ankle.

“We’ll go inside, make contact with the parolees who are on our list, making sure they’re adhering to our guidelines, do a quick little search then we’ll be on to our next location,” Smith said.

This compliance check isn’t just done on Halloween though. Parole agents do it daily, year-round.

‘They’re so dedicated to this that they want to make sure that, whether it’s a holiday or not, to make sure the community’s safe,” Smith said.

At the end of Halloween night, the agents arrested one person for being under the influence of meth and another for drinking alcohol.

“Our main and number one purpose is public safety,” Smith said. “As long as they’re adhering to their conditions of parole and/or the penal code, then we help them with treatment and counseling and education and what not to hopefully change their thought process so they don’t ever re-offend again.”

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