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Mischief Night Zero Tolerance

The Hillsdale Police Department will be conducting a Zero Tolerance Policy this year during “Mischief Night and Halloween (October 30th and 31st). This policy is vital for the safety of our children and the protection of property. We are urging parents to take an active role in order to assist us in this endeavor.

Historically, our community had experienced significant property damage as well as mischievous and criminal behavior by unsupervised juveniles and young adults on these nights. We also had problems with juveniles congregating in large groups in various areas of town. Parents and guardians should be aware of the activity that occurs when their children are out unsupervised. Most property damage and criminal activity occurs when seemingly harmless behavior and pranks escalate out of control.

Parents should establish dialogue with their children about unacceptable behavior or more importantly, not allow their children out without adult supervision. Parents must be cognizant of their children’s actions and behavior. Children leaving the home dressed in dark clothing and/or in possession of items such as eggs, shaving cream and other malicious items traditionally a formula for trouble.

This year, we are recommending that all parents limit their children’s “mischief to their own property. In the past, homes and moving vehicles have been the target of eggs, rocks, and in some instances, paint ball guns. Toilet paper strewn across utility lines has created visibility hazards, which can easily lead to serious danger for the motoring public and our children.

The standards that we will be enforcing this year include:
1. An 8:00 p.m. curfew will be strictly enforced. Anyone in violation will be transported to headquarters.
2. A Zero-Tolerance policy towards acts of Criminal Mischief, Trespassing and aggressive behavior. Anyone found defacing or damaging property will be brought to headquarters and processed accordingly. 
3. We will be confiscating all potentially destructive items, including toilet paper and shaving cream, from children who are wandering unsupervised on our streets. Names of all unsupervised juveniles will also be recorded.
4. Any children found with items that we believe pose a significant threat to persons or property will be brought to headquarters and processed accordingly. These items include eggs, spray paint, paint ball guns, etc.
5. Anyone who operates a motor vehicle in violation of the law will be issued the appropriate motor vehicle summons.

We will be supplementing the normal patrol force throughout both Mischief Night and Halloween with additional officers to prevent criminal mischief, criminal activity, and aggressive driving and to ensure the safety of our children. It is important for parents and the community to work in cooperation with the Hillsdale Police Department to deter criminal activity and make both Mischief Night and Halloween safe and enjoyable for all.

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