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Trick or Trouble? Not in Greenburgh This Year

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Greenburgh residents need not stress over Halloween night mischief as crime on that night has declined over the past few years, said police.

While assaults and vandalism plagued Halloween a decade ago, the Greenburgh Police Department now doubles its man power to ensure the town's safety. The police, said Chief Joseph DeCarlo, stop any problems before they get out of hand.

"We now show a presence," he said. "We put officers out who follow the kids around and that goes a long way. I really think that if we didn't monitor and stay with these groups, there would be more problems. So I'd be real hesitant on lowering our man power. I think we've reached a point now where we break up the groups well. That goes a long way."

Older teens have been known to intimidate and bully younger children who are trick-or-treating alone or in groups, police said. While those teenaged residents have become tamer as years pass, police still deal with shaving cream and eggings, which can stain a house.

Angela Hyman, a PTA member of the Greenburgh Central 7 School District, said that she does not worry about her two daughters, in fifth and seventh grades, on Halloween night. Typically, Hyman walks in close proximity to them, always watching their whereabouts.

"I think the police are on duty and will keep an extra eye out that night and the night before," she said. "I also think families and neighborhoods have a good rapport whereas they will keep an eye out as well."

The fact that this year's Halloween falls on a Monday, a school night, makes it a bit easier, said DeCarlo, meaning children are more likely to turn in early.

"We had a few years where we did have problems the night before," said DeCarlo. "And the night before, this year, is a Sunday. That always is a factor, too, to make it a bit easier. They're more prone to stay home."

DeCarlo suggests that parents look for tainted candy and do not let children eat treats that are not sealed in their original wrappers.

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