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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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Bergen parents could be held responsible for Mischief Night, Halloween pranks

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

PUBLIC SAFETY: Franklin Lakes and River Vale are just two of several area towns that will have curfews in effect tomorrow and Thursday nights. So be sure to know your local ordinances.

The purpose, police say, is to minimize the amount of damage to private and public property during Mischief Night and Halloween — as well as to protect the safety of youngsters.

“Most property damage and criminal activity occurs when seemingly harmless behavior and pranks escalate out of control,” River Vale Police Chief Michael J. McCann said.

Besides talking with their children, parents should make sure minors don’t leave the house in dark clothing with eggs, shaving cream “and other malicious items that are  traditionally a formula for trouble,” said McCann, who declared a “zero tolerance” policy for both nights (see below).

Eggs, rocks and paintballs can not only cause significant property damage — they could hurt someone, the chief emphasized.

“Toilet paper strewn across utility lines has created visibility hazards, which can easily lead to serious danger for the motoring public and our children,” he added.

Be sure to check with your local police department about curfews tomorrow and Thursday night.

Otherwise, you could possibly be held liable if there’s trouble.

River Vale

As part of its “zero tolerance policy,” River Vale police will be on the lookout for:

  • juveniles who violate an 8 p.m. curfew tomorrow and Thursday;
  • anyone who trespasses, commits criminal mischief or engages in what’s deemed “aggressive behavior” at any time either day;
  • anyone caught with “potentially destructive items,” such as toilet paper, shaving cream, eggs, spray paint, and paintball guns.

Police will also watch for traffic violations, McCann warned.

“We will be confiscating all potentially destructive items, including toilet paper and shaving cream, from  children who are wandering unsupervised on our streets,” the chief said. “Names of all unsupervised juveniles will also be recorded.

“Any children found with items that we believe pose a significant threat to persons or property will be brought to headquarters and processed accordingly,” McCann said.

“We are urging parents to take an active role in order to assist us in this endeavor,” he said.

Franklin Lakes

Juveniles under 18 in Franklin Lakes cannot be on a public street or in a public street without an adult or guardian between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. tomorrow and Thursday.

But it goes further than that: Parents and guardians are responsible for keeping their children from those areas at those times (In other words: You could face a potential fine if your unsupervised kid is caught breaking curfew).

Exceptions will be made for traveling to or from an authorized activity or occupation — such as: medical emergencies, extracurricular school activities, or other cultural, educational, or social events that are sponsored by a religious or community-based organization, police said.

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