Investigators check up on sex offenders in “Operation: Back to School Sweep”

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Up to 100 sex offenders in Marion County had law enforcement knocking on their front doors today. It was part of “Operation: Back to School Sweep.”

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Lawrence Police Department, Speedway Police Department, Beech Grove Police Department, and the US Marshals participated.

Some of them were trying to serve warrants for offenders that failed to register. We did a story about nine of them Monday night. Investigators say one of the wanted offenders saw the report and turned himself in.

But trying to arrest individuals wasn’t all they were trying to do Tuesday afternoon.

Sergeant Joe Poskey has a busy day ahead of him. He’s a sex offender registry investigator. Tuesday’s task is to patrol the South Side of Indianapolis, making sure about a dozen sex offenders are obeying the law.

“We check them every month to make sure they’re in compliance with where they’re supposed to be living, make sure all their information is still correct, phone numbers, addresses, contacts,” he said.

The state only requires them to be visited four times a year – but the Marion County Sheriff requires the checks to happen monthly.

“(The sheriff) wants to get a message across to them that we’re doing our job. We’re making sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to do.”

Sgt. Poskey works the same beat each time, getting to know his group of offenders quite well. “We need to keep tabs on them. School’s back in session, kids are out and about catching the buses in the morning in the evening.”

The first offender wasn’t home but happened to walk up behind us.

Sgt. Poskey made sure he didn’t have a computer or internet access, the rules delegated specifically for his case.

“We try to catch them if they’re doing something wrong. Like I said, most of them stay compliant with us.”

It was the same story at our next stop. The offender mentioned he might be moving and was aware he would need to register a new address if that happened.

It’s the type of stop Sgt. Poskey prefers; an offender that not only knows what the laws are but follows them.

“It would make everybody’s job a lot easier; it would make the community feel a lot safer,” he said. “But then you got the people that don’t want to obey by the laws you know and that’s where we come into play and we’re going to get them.”

The final phase of Operation: Back to School Sweep was patrolling school zones. Investigators would scan license plates to see if any offenders were in the area.

“If there’s a sex offender driving around there and he comes up and I run him and he doesn’t live even close to the area, I’m going to ask him what he’s doing in the area. We’re going to let him know that we’re there, we’re watching him,” he said.

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