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Curfew in effect for Halloween

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MASSENA — For the first time in years, Massena Village Police will enforce a curfew on Halloween.

The village had a nightly curfew in place from 1969 through the mid-1990s but went without such legislation on the books until last spring, when the village board voted to restore it with minor changes based on constitutional challenges.

Mayor James F. Hidy said that, while he supports Halloween and hopes the community’s children enjoy themselves, patrolmen will be enforcing the curfew on Thursday just as they would on any other night.

“People should be done collecting candy by 10 p.m.,” he said. “We’re more than confident that one or two hours of trick-or-treating is sufficient.”

Although police have yet to cite anyone for violating the curfew, Mr. Hidy said, that is because they’re giving all first-time offenders a warning.

“Everyone deserves a second chance,” Mr. Hidy said, adding that, while no tickets have been issued, village officers have given out several warnings.

Mr. Hidy said he would like to remind parents to keep track of their children on Halloween and have a plan for the evening’s festivities.

“Parents should monitor their children and accompany them, if possible,” he said. “If children are going out on their own, they should bring a flashlight and wear a light-colored or fluorescent costume and follow a designated route along a two- or three-block radius.”

The village’s curfew law went into effect on May 1 and requires children ages 16 and under to be off the streets by 10 p.m.

Penalties for a first cited offense include 20 hours of community service, with repeat offenders possibly being petitioned into St. Lawrence County Family Court.

Penalties also exist for parents of cited children, with parents facing a fine of $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $250 for a third offense. Subsequent offenses may be punished by up to 15 days in jail.

To remind both children and residents of the curfew, the village’s fire-whistle goes off at 10 p.m. each night.

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