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A calmer Halloween in Westvale?

Aside from Incredible Hulk costumes, a new Halloween trend seems to be forming.

For two consecutive years, mischief and mayhem in the Cherry Road neighborhood has been minimal, according to Geddes Police Chief Vic Gillette.

As Claire Hicks' Halloween tradition has grown in popularity over the last 27 years, vandalism and crime was on the rise in the area around Cherry Road School in Westvale, Gillette said. Over the last decade or so, "traditional" Halloween pranks have gotten out of hand.

Gillette recalled being personally hit in the back with eggs, encountering young teens resisting the police and having to call in Air One a couple of years ago in an attempt to break up a mob of teens at the school.

But this year, a new trend may be showing itself.

Gillete said Trooper Joseph Calloia, school resource officer at Westhill schools, was present last year and the department saw a significantly quieter Halloween. He was not sure whether it could be attributed to the trooper's presence or not.

This year, the unseasonably warm weather and Halloween falling on a Friday set the stage for things to get out of hand, Gillette said. But he and the department were pleasantly surprised.

I rode with Gillette while he patrolled the streets surrounding Cherry Road School during "prime time," from 6:30 to 9 p.m. On Halloween, he said, six cars were assigned to patrol the area, while only one car patrolled Lakeland. On an average night, one patrol car is dedicated to each area.

But while the sky grew darker and the crowd of younger trick-or-treaters began to thin, the typical mischief was slow to start. A few small groups of teens dotted throughout the neighborhood were soon covered in shaving cream, but little else was left as evidence of past Halloween chaos.

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