INDIANAPOLIS – The Marion County Sheriff’s Office swept through a near east side Indianapolis neighborhood Wednesday to check the status of more than two dozen sex offenders.
“Operation Watchful Eye” included more than 40 MCSO members from multiple divisions, including the Sexual and Violent Offender Unit, the K9 Unit, Warrant Unit, Intelligence Unit, Criminal Investigations Unit, Reserve Division and executive staff.
The sheriff’s office tweeted about the sweep earlier Wednesday, calling it a “large-scale law enforcement” operation that would be an active scene “for the next several hours.”
Investigators concentrated on 34 sexual or violent offenders who live within a half-mile radius of Brookside Park. Sixteen of them were convicted outside Marion County.
Deputies conducted 34 compliance checks during the Wednesday sweep. Deputies verified that 20 sex offenders were found to be in compliance with registration requirements.
The operation involved five attempted warrant services for sexual offenses. Deputies arrested a juvenile on felony rape and child molestation charges.
One person was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender, according to the sheriff’s office. Three individuals were suspected to be out of compliance, although further investigation is needed.
“Hoosier hospitality is important, but not at the expense of the safety of Marion County residents,” said Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal in a statement. “Operation Watchful Eye should serve as reminder to the public that they must be vigilant about who is in their neighborhood. But it should also serve as a warning to Marion County’s sex offender population: We are watching like a hawk and if you are not compliant, you will be found and arrested.”
According to the sheriff’s office, there are currently 1,825 sexual or violent offenders living in Marion County; 52% of them were convicted in another state or county. At this time a year ago, that figure stood at 42%.
The sheriff’s office is working to understand why so many out-of-county offenders are coming to the Indianapolis area.
If you want to find offenders in your area, you can search the registry here.