July 17, 2008

Vandalism at city parks isn't slowing

Since the mauling of The Hiker statue on Memorial Boulevard last month, the vandalism at city parks hasn’t let up.
Though there haven’t been any high-profile acts of destruction, the steady pace of smashed lights and other destructive acts has officials up in arms.
“We’ve got to start initiating action. It’s absolutely ludicrous that his is going on,” Mayor Art Ward said.
In just the past few weeks, lights have been broken, a fence cut through at the Rockwell Park pool, basketball backboards spraypainted and more.
“It’s quite evident that it’s not stopping,” Ward said.
“I’m very upset at the vandalism,” said city Councilor Mike Rimcoski. “We’ve got to put the hammer down.”
Officials said, though, that catching the culprits is tough – and prosecuting them is hard, too, since many are underage.
Two young people, for example, were caught by lifeguards kicking out equipment at the Rockwell Park pool. Their names were taken and they were thrown out, park officials said.
City leaders said that the police have been given the information and more action is likely to follow.
Ward said, however, that when minors are involved, the city can’t provide any information to the public so the deterrence value is lessened. He said he hopes that some adults get caught for vandalizing park property one day soon.
The city hasn’t yet taken any action to fix the damaged Spanish-American War soldier that stood on Memorial Boulevard. It is likely to cost tens of thousands of dollars to make repairs, officials have said.
Rimcoski said that officials may want to explore adding extra lighting for the monuments and memorials along Memorial Boulevard to make it a little harder for vandals to strike.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Sure Mike, more lights which cost money but don't raise taxes.
Where is all going to come from?

Banks are well lit and they get robbed, so lights won'y be a cure all either.

Is this another feel good idea?

Anonymous said...

Where is Charles Bronson when we need him?

Tim Gamache said...

3:11: And what is your "bright" idea?

Anonymous said...

I don't claim to have any bright ideas, but probably could given the time.

However, I did not run for City Council, I did not say don't raise taxes, and Ididn't suggest spending more tax dollars.

My pointwas and is, you can't have it both ways.

Same with VNA and illness: wait until people get real sick and cost more than a visit and some preventative medicine.

Seems like our council people are on sound bite kicks.

Anonymous said...

4:40 - thank goodness you are smart enough to realize that you are not capable of any bright ideas because it definately shows.

Anonymous said...


Which puts me ahead of you guys.

Anonymous said...

8:51am - see what I mean? "Proof is in the posting."

with sympathy,


Anonymous said...

From a realistic perspective, short of having three shifts of park police patroling the parks at all park locations, I do not think there is really much we can do except to routinely fix the vandalism and make the occassional arrest. This is not a problem unique to Bristol as reported the Press. Cameras are not the "end all" for preventing crime in high crime areas and actually give politicians and citizens an extremely false sense of security. There are numerous cameras on our BHA properties in town, and most of them are rumored to be worthless. In my opinion, besides costing a large amount of money, they are quite ineffective in identifying criminals from a distance during the commission of a crime, especially at night when it is assumed much of the damage is taking place. A positive identification of a suspect from a pole camera is nearly impossible. At best we can hope the cameras act sometimes as a deterant, however, I would not bet the general fund on this.

Anonymous said...

I know what I don't know, apparently you don't know your limitations.

Anonymous said...

Why are not the state legislators addressing the issue of lenient punishment, even of minors?

Pass legislation that will make parents more responsible, consider publicizing offenders, and explore other possibilities that will enable the laws to be enforced and deter some of the vandalism.

However, keep in mind, that it is not all done by the youth: some might be done for profit by adults, such as the statue on the BLVD.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Assign Lori DeFillipi to patrol the parks at night with a blackened face and a rifle with "night-vision".

Anonymous said...


Nothing is absolute, but you would be surprised as to how many of the violators come from good families, have parents with good jobs, and are living in good neighborhoods.

Their standard of living is quite adequate.

I realize there is the other side too: my point was to find a way to wake up the parents.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Sometimes hitting them in the pocketbook is a wakeup call.