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Friday, May 6, 2016

Officials respond to park vandalism

Monday, March 22, 2010

Several windows at the Forest Park Cow Palace have been vandalized recently. Jason Moon Photo. [Order this photo]
Recent vandalism in Forest Park has prompted the Brazil City Police Department to take action.

BCPD Chief Dave Archer told The Brazil Times the department will have reserve officers out on foot patrols during the evenings to keep an eye out.

"They're having some vandalism over there," Archer said. "It starts popping up as it gets warmer in the spring and summer. When it first starts warming up, people stay out and we seem to have more vandalism."

Recently, Brazil Park Board officials informed The Times that close to 40 windows have been broken out in various buildings throughout Forest Park, including 33 at the cow palace.

Park officials said the vandalism began close to three weeks ago. In addition, they said a break-in at a restroom at Babe Wheeler Park also took place.

"It is very frustrating," Brazil Park Board President Ruthann Jeffries said. "We're working on a very short budget anyway.

"I don't understand when we really work hard to provide nice parks for people, why some people choose to destroy them."

Park officials are offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest(s) and prosecution regarding the recent vandalism.

Jeffries said she estimated the total damage was more than $1,300. And as the board is under budget restraints this year, paying for the damage will be difficult.

BCPD Chief Dave Archer
"We have to do something," Jeffries said. "We'll find (the money) someplace. We'll have too. It's going to be kind of a rob Peter to pay Paul situation. But our problem is, there really isn't any Paul, or Peter.

"We're down to the bare bones. Where we'll get this money, I don't know. But we'll just take it from some place."

The department currently has 10 reserve officers on staff, although Archer said foot patrol work isn't commonplace for the department.

"When we have high vandalism in areas, we will put them out there on foot patrols," he said, adding people would hide or leave if they see headlights in the area. "On foot patrol, it gives us more of a stealthy position."

Archer said having foot patrols comb the parks in the evenings is something that has been discussed in the past.

"I don't know if there is ever enough because there are 24 hours in a day," he said.

Archer added he hoped more personnel would be scouring the other parks in the city in the future.

"You are getting some (vandalism) in the other parks as well, but not as much as what we are having at (Forest Park)," Archer said.

Ruthann Jeffries
Jeffries said there was a lot of vandalism that took place in Forest Park a few years ago, but added security has kept the vandalism to a minimum in recent years.

"We need to get these people prosecuted and they need to be held accountable," she said.

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It's nice to see that 3 weeks of vandalism has prompted the Brazil City Police Department to take action. That's staying right on top of things. Now the taxpayers get to replace all of those windows and repair the other damage.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Mon, Mar 22, 2010, at 6:58 PM

they need volunters so i can assume lee thall will be there in the morning to be the first.

-- Posted by GO HOOSIERS on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 12:58 AM

I like how Lee Thall has now added "Esq." to his or her username! :)

-- Posted by millertime on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 7:43 AM

i think we should start a park fund at one of the local banks where people can donate any time they want. i would be the first. these parks are so nice for the little kids out there

-- Posted by otis66 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:02 AM

It's pretty sad when you have a few morons (likely some punk, teenagers that feel they have nothing better to do) ruin things for the masses. Unfortunately, it will likely take people to "babysit" the parks to keep them for being vandalized.

-- Posted by always skeptical on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:14 AM

....or should I say "from being vandalized".

-- Posted by always skeptical on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 8:15 AM

It is sad that it takes only a few to ruin it for many. However, If 500 of the News Paper readers donated a dollar torward the Parks department each month, imagine what could be done with that. I would think that Ruthann Jeffries would probly replace the glass windows with Plexi-Glassand much more. Of course I don't live in Brazil at the time but plan on coming back some day and would like to see the Park just as pretty as the day I left. I have fond memories of Forest Park and I would like my Grand Children to enjoy Forest Park too !

-- Posted by Nosredna Retep on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 11:33 AM

if we look back in time when there was things in town for teenagers to do there was not as much destroying of property. maybe the focus should be on how to get these kids entertained. As parents maybe instead of getting drunk at the local bar you could be spending time with the children doing things as a family instead of children running wild and parents doing their own thing. Not that im saying parent cant go out with out their children and have a good time but im saying these kids need their parents.

-- Posted by singlemomof2 on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 2:31 PM

Whoever does this kind of damage isn't just doing it because they are bored. There are much more serious issues going on. I used to get bored as a teen/kid but never destroyed property. I hope when someone squeals to collect the $500 reward that those who are found guilty (and their parents) get to spend lots of time cleaning toilets and trash up in the parks.

-- Posted by Sunspotbaby on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 5:41 PM

Thanks millertime. About 2-3 times a year it is Miller time.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 5:52 PM

Is there any way we can get the Times to quit posting the ugly mugshot of Dave Archer everytime there's a crime? How about a picture of the damage; wait, that would mean the Times would have to send someone out to do something instead of relying on stock photos. Does Dave have relatives that work for the paper?

-- Posted by BrazilNoMore on Tue, Mar 23, 2010, at 6:42 PM

Gangs and vandals increase when young people feel unwanted and unneeded at home and in their community. They are disaffected and disinterested. Giving them more stuff and more freedom is only going to make things worse. Maybe a curfew of 10 o'clock pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends would help. Maybe some kind of volunteer group of young people, supervised by adult volunteers, that would regularly patrol the parks would help.

-- Posted by Baldgranny on Wed, Mar 24, 2010, at 10:53 AM

BrazilNoMore they paid attention to 50% of your post. :)

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Wed, Mar 24, 2010, at 7:18 PM

Here is an idea! My teenage children love to play and goof off at Forest Park. My husband and I go with them! Thats right we go with them and act like we are 13 year old children. Yes we may look funny running around the playground, playing tag and swinging on the swings but the kids have alot of fun when adults are playing tag or swinging with them. The kids are not going to vandalize anything when mom and dad are with them!!

-- Posted by dogslove on Thu, Mar 25, 2010, at 10:35 AM

I am 40 years old, and there was this sort of petty vandalism even when I was a young kid. To pretend that this type of thing never happened years ago, is just silly.

Although it would be great if things like this never happened, we would also be kidding ourselves to think it won't. in fact, I would seriously have to wonder where the alien cocoons were hidden if the kids around town never did anything wrong.

I'm not condoning this type of thing, but I am saying to just fix it, increase the patrols around the park a bit, and move on. Stuff like this is going to happen. The best we can do as citizens is to expect it, try to prevent what we can, and be damn glad it was only a window.

-- Posted by olmedic on Mon, Mar 29, 2010, at 10:53 AM

Looking at this realistically, "olmedic" is right. Vandalism has been a problem for generations. I have no reason for it, all I know is I have lived around Forest Park for most of my life, and it has always been a problem. With the exception of when there was security there, although that didn't stop it completely either.

Kids today have more things than ever to occupy themselves. Yet the ones that want to be destructive, are going to find away to do it. Some parents could certainly do a better job of monitoring their kids. Notice I said "some", alot of parents do a great job. But it only takes the actions of a few, or even just one, to ruin it for everyone else.

We get what we are willing to settle for. If we don't get enough funds in the Parks dept. through traditional means (taxes), then maybe a special account can be created for security. Or better yet, just as businesses used to "adopt" a road where they would have volunteers from that business keep that stretch of road free of litter, maybe businesses could ask their associates to donate time to walk the park and watch for these vandals.

Personally, I don't see why state curfew laws aren't enforced, and in particular, I don't understand why anybody caught in the park between midnight and daylight aren't asked to leave immediately.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Thu, Apr 1, 2010, at 2:18 PM

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