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Monday, May 2, 2016

Help needed to catch park vandals

Friday, October 13, 2006

Diane Dierks photo

Restrooms at the Forest Park Pavilion were vandalized earlier this month. Vandals stole toilet paper and destroyed heavy duty toilet paper dispensers.



It is difficult to understand the minds of people who intentionally damage our beautiful parks, especially when the community works so hard to preserve them.

Vandals defaced two of Brazil's city parks earlier this month. According to Bill Houck, park superintendent, toilet paper was stolen from the Forest Park pavilion restrooms and the heavy-duty toilet paper dispensers were destroyed.

At Wheeler Park, the electrical box and receptacle were damaged, leaving exposed wires. The park superintendent shut off electrical power to Wheeler Park for safety reasons until he can make the repairs. Houck said there is currently no electricity for the shelters or electrical outlets, due to the shut down. The dusk to dawn lights in Wheeler Park are not effected by the power outage.

Police Chief Mark Loudermilk said vandalism in the parks is not an uncommon problem. Although the police regularly patrol the parks at night, they can not be everywhere at once.

"There is a nocturnal population of people who wander at night," he said. "If you go through the parks at night, you will see people there."

The parks close at 11 p.m., but there is no way to completely secure them after hours. People who are found in the park after hours are ordered to leave.

Chief Loudermilk said there are at least two or three occurrences of vandalism during the summer months and activity increases during the Halloween season.

If citizens witness acts of vandalism, they should call the police immediately. Chief Loudermilk said it is also helpful for citizens to record license plate numbers, if they are able to do so safely.

In response to the latest property defacing, the park superintendent, with approval from the Brazil Parks and Recreation board, has decided to lock the public bathrooms earlier in the evening to prevent damage in the future.

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