River Vale is one of the area towns that has declared a “zero tolerance” policy for next Tuesday and Wednesday (Mischief Night, Halloween), with an 8 p.m. curfew both nights — and stepped-up patrols to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Clear rules will be strictly enforced, River Vale Police Chief Michael J. McCann said:
- Any juvenile violating the 8 p.m. curfew will be taken into custody;
- Acts of criminal mischief, trespassing and aggressive behavior will also get you taken to headquarters — with possible complaints to follow;
- Anyone found defacing or damaging property will be charged;
- Police will confiscate “all potentially destructive items,” including toilet paper and shaving cream, from children who are w”andering unsupervised on our streets” (They’re taking names, as well.);
- Any children found with items deemed “a significant threat to persons or property” — including eggs, spray paint or paintball guns — will be “brought to headquarters and processed accordingly”;
Traffic laws will be strictly enforced, as well, the chief said.
McCann recommended that parents limit their children’s “mischief” to their own property.
“Children leaving the home dressed in dark clothing and/or in possession of items such as eggs, shaving cream and other malicious items are traditionally a formula for trouble,” he said.
Moving vehicles hit by eggs, rocks and even paintballs could cause serious accidents, the chief said, adding that toilet paper strewn across utility lines could block a driver’s view, as well.
“Historically, our community had experienced significant property damage, as well as mischievous and criminal behavior by unsupervised juveniles and young adults on these nights,” McCann said. “We have also had problems with juveniles congregating in large groups in various areas of town.
“Most property damage and criminal activity occurs when seemingly harmless behavior and pranks escalate out of control,” the chief said, in advising parents to talk with their children about unacceptable behavior — and, if possible, supervise them both nights.
“This policy is vital for the safety of our children and the protection of property,” McCann said. “We are urging parents to take an active role in order to assist us in this endeavor.”
( PHOTO ABOVE: Courtesy redbank green.com )
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