There are roughly 2,700 registered sex offenders living in San Jose, some child molesters, some rapists.
On Thursday, five teams of police officers worked overtime to check out 25 of those men and women offenders, making sure they were complying with the law while living in the community. One of them has the most dangerous designation given by the Department of Justice: a sexual violent predator.
"People we'll be targeting tonight, we have multiuple child molesters, rapings, kidnappings, as well as incest, so we're going to talk to the worst of the worst," Sgt. John Marfia said.
Detective John Moutzourdis added: "A lot of them have violence in their background, so we'll use all appropriate officer safety."
Because of staffing issues, the San Jose Police Department has not conducted such an operation in more than a year.
Officers Gary Buhay and Chau Pham made their first stop at the home of Dean Pacini, a sexual violent predator, meaning he's very likely to reoffend. He's one of only two offenders in San Jose with such a designation.
After finding no one at home, the officers moved toward the next target before spotting Pacini cruising the streets in a convertible. They followed closely for a couple of miles then pulled him over.
"Let's have a conversation, please," Pham says to Pacini.
After a series of questions, the officers found Pacini is in compliance. They warned him to keep following the rules before they let him go.
San Jose's sex offender compliance unit is down from five detectives at one point to only one today because hundreds of officers left the department in a staffing exodus. But even with fewer officers, the department says it wants every sex offender to see the operation as a warning that officers are keeping an eye on them all the time.
"Let them know that we're around" is the objective, Pham said. "Part of our responsibility is to conduct these compliance checks."
Of the 25 targets Thursday, 15 were in compliance. One was not, and police will obtain a warrant to arrest him.
Nine offenders were not home and will be revisited soon.