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.
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