Halloween was the date chosen — coincidentally? intentionally? — for Marin law enforcement agencies to conduct a probation sweep of 290 sex registrants and probationers with sex-crime convictions.
Led by the Marin County Sheriff's Task Force and the Novato Police Department's new Novato Response Team, the searches took place in Novato, San Rafael, Kentfield and Larkspur.
Sixteen offenders were contacted and searched at their homes, and one of them "may be in violation," according to a county release. Novato police Lt. Keith Heiden said four of the 16 contacted were in Novato, including one that was whose conviction was unrelated to sex crimes. The one who might be in violation of probation was from Novato, he said; that person's computer was seized, according to the county release.
Acting Lt. Jennifer Welch said the Novato PD would "continue to be proactive with offender compliance checks and probation compliance."
With a boost from grant funding, the four-person Novato Response Team most often focuses on relationships with property managers at apartment complexes and other multifamily housing units with an eye on curbing street crimes. The new beat, which started in July, has geographic flexibility around the city limits.
The county's probation department said it would continue to keep a high level of supervision on the offenders with the highest likelihood of reoffending. The objective is community safety and rehabilitating probationers, the department said.