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Park Vandals in Gadsden County

By: Marise Estime
By: Marise Estime

2-9-07

Gadsden County Parks and Recreational employees have been sprucing up several local parks, but vandals are destroying their work.

For the past few months Gadsden County's Parks and Recreational employees have paid hundreds of dollars to replace several broken windows at Shiloh Park, and that's not the only thing vandals are destroying in this newly renovated facility.

Charles Chapman said, "We've had water fountains damaged, several pieces of equipment damaged, swings and brackets have been beaten with a hammer to trash cans being kicked over."

Across town, Friendship Park has become anything but friendly. Although renovations are in the works, employees say the facility is a breathing ground for minor graffiti, loiters and destructive residents.

Park and Recreational employees say they've fixed this fence seven times. Residents have been driving their cars on it. In the meantime they’re waiting for grant funding to spruce up the place, and they’re asking residents to maintain it, but neighbors say it will take more than that to keep the park safe. They say the site has become a playground for criminals and addicts.

Carlon Davis said, "Drug activity, you go out there late at night and you see people park there tricking and everything else, having sex some of everything."

In the meantime, they're hoping the community will help law enforcement officials police the area, making it a safe haven for families.

The county has partnered with the Sheriff's Office to have deputies patrol area parks. They're encouraging folks to call them anonymously and report crimes to either the Sheriff's Office or the Recreation Department. Callers will remain anonymous.


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