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|November 5 , 2008
Director of Communications
Fall River District Court Probation Officers Turn Lights Out on Sex Offenders Halloween Night
It was “Lights Out” for sex offenders in Fall River and surrounding towns Halloween night when Fall River District Court Probation Officers made surprise visits to the homes of nearly 30 probationers to ensure that they were not distributing candy to children or having any contact with anyone 16 years old or under.
This year marked the second year for “Operation Lights Out,” a probation-established initiative which paired Probation Officers with local police in Fall River, Somerset, and Swansea. The Probation/Police teams made sure offenders turned their porch lights out and did not display any lighting which would attract young trick or treaters to their doors.
“We took a pro-active approach to the problem and found the majority of the offenders home,” said Fall River District Court Chief Probation Officer James Flannery.
Fall River District Court Probation Officer Michael Borden, who came up with the idea for “Operation Lights Out” last year, said the sex offenders ranged from those who were on pre-trial probation or not classified to Level 3 offenders, high-risk individuals who are considered the most likely to re-offend. Borden and fellow Probation Officer Beth A. Bernier paid visits to the offenders’s homes in Fall River and then fanned out to the two surrounding towns of Somerset and Swansea.
“We visited each of the homes to verify that they (offenders) were there and to verify their current addresses. It is great to work in conjunction with the police,” Borden said.
Fall River Police Officer Brett Kimball said of the effort and his work with Fall River District Probation Officers, “It is a strong partnership. It worked well. It lets them know that we are watching and that they (sex offenders) have to keep following their conditions of probation. It “Operation Lights Out” also helps to ensure the safety of every child in the community.”