California Parolee Apprehension Teams Coordinate with 140 Partner Agencies to Track, Search, Cyber-monitor and Capture Sex Offenders. A specialized team of parole agents with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has arrested 579* parolees during a six-month multi-agency sting entitled Operation Safe Playground. The statewide operation, which began in July and continues through January, was conducted by the department’s California Parolee Apprehension Team (CPAT) along with other law enforcement partners.
“Operation Safe Playground is designed to deter crimes against children by taking dangerous sex offenders off the streets and by sending a clear message to all sex offenders that our agents are watching them carefully,” said CDCR Division of Adult Parole Operations Director Robert Ambroselli. “Our teams are meticulously tracking sex-offender parolees’ movements, checking parolees’ property for prohibited contraband and searching sex offenders’ homes and their cyber world for any sign they may be preying on the innocent.”
The CPAT was created because of recent parole reforms launched by CDCR in January to direct more intense focus on parolees who pose the most risk to public safety. CPAT agents receive extensive training in fugitive apprehension, database searches, social networking, field tactics and firearms.
Since July, parole agents and their law enforcement partners have conducted 1,276 parole and probation searches statewide, and arrested 579 sex offenders, 233 of whom were parolees-at-large.*
CPAT led more than 140 partner agencies including the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and local law enforcement departments statewide in this week’s efforts.
The efforts by CDCR and its law enforcement partners included:
Conducting Global Positioning System (GPS) parole searches;
Conducting searches on probationers;
Auditing registered non-parolee sex offenders;
Conducting social network checks;
Coordinating with Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) to scan computers and smart phones of parolees;
Analyzing GPS location tracks of transient sex offenders;
Conducting park and community surveillance;
Locating and apprehending at-large sex-offender parolees and wanted probationers;
Taking action on active warrants for sex offenders with the assistance of U.S. marshals;
Assisting local law enforcement with sex offenders who were not complying with the terms of parole or probation;
Investigating and following up on GPS tracking and community collateral contacts.
This week alone – as part of California’s Special Enforcement Week – CPAT and its partner agencies have arrested nearly 350 sex offenders for the following offenses or violations:
Child pornography 9
Possession of drugs 46
Possession of weapons 36
Possession of contraband 131
(Contraband can include items such as computers, children’s toys, etc.)
“While it’s the responsibility of all parole agents to apprehend parolees-at-large, CPAT is improving our ability to find offenders who have absconded supervision,” Ambroselli said.
For more information about California parole and reforms, visit CDCR’s website at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/.
*Arrest totals are as of Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010.