By Jeff Mays
HARLEM — Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, which means that kids have not one, but three days to get up to no good during the mischief-inspiring holiday weekend, according to Lt. Kevin O'Connor of Manhattan North’s gang intelligence unit.
"Make sure you know where your kids are," he told a group of Harlem parents this week.
He said that police are concerned because Halloween is a time when kids often find their way into mischief. In the past, rumors of fights and gang activity have caused half of the city's kids to stay home.
"Halloween is on a Sunday which means we have to be concerned about Friday, Saturday and Sunday," O'Connor told parents.
On Friday, O'Connor said he will have 50 additional cops out picking up truants. The Schools United Network, which sends out alerts to parents and community partners, also sent an alert about the truancy sweeps scheduled for Friday for the entire borough of Manhattan.
"I have the extra cops out because we want to prevent kids from becoming victims," O'Connor said. "Tell them we will be picking them up."
Friday is a half-day for high school kids because of parent-teacher conferences, said Department of Education spokesperson Margie Feinberg.
"We aren't expecting anything because Halloween is on a Sunday," she said when asked if they were worried about problems in school. "Friday is not a full day so we don't expect anything different."
Some Harlem parents and care givers also said they weren't too concerned but would be keeping an eye out.
Diamond Parker, 20, had just picked her 8 and 10-year-old cousins up from the SEEALL Academy (P.S./I.S. 180) on 120th Street between Manhattan and Morningside avenues. She said her cousins would be going to school because they live close to the building.
"It seems like in the past that older kids were the target for problems," Parker said. "I'd be more worried if they were older but for the younger kids, it's fine."
"I can't wait until Halloween is on a Tuesday," O'Connor said.