The Brazil Parks and Recreation board has noticed a large amount of vandalism within city parks in the past few months.
At their regular board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 14, the board discussed their concern about the recent vandalism at Forest Park and Craig Park.
The main area of concern was several structures at Forest Park. The Kenny Crabb shelter, named after a former Brazil mayor, has seen structural damage for years, according to Board President Ruthann Jeffries.
"There used to be decorative spindles at that shelter," Jeffries said, "but we've had to replace them. People keep kicking them out, and we keep replacing them."
Jeffries said damage has also been done to several small bridges at Forest Park. Jeffries said city workers are usually able to find the boards to put them back in place, or they make new ones to fit.
Damage has also been done to "No Smoking" and "No Dogs Allowed" signs in Forest Park. Those signs had been bent and have already been fixed by a city worker.
Park Superintendent Bill Houck said theft has occurred in many park restrooms.
"People regularly steal toilet paper," Houck said, "but we're trying to combat against that."
Jeffries thinks vandalism is slightly down this year because of the presence of security cameras in some areas.
"I think the cameras help out a lot," Jeffries said.
Houck reported that two new cameras have been ordered and will be positioned in locations where vandalism most often occurs.
Brazil Police Chief Clint McQueen said the police department is also taking extra measures to try to reduce vandalism in city parks.
"We're increasing patrol in those areas," McQueen said, "both in the city parks and in various areas in the city."
McQueen said vandalism is more frequent in the summer because the nice weather has people going outside more often.
McQueen asks that city residents be on alert.
"We like to have the public out there being our eyes and ears," McQueen said. "We can't be at every place at every time. If city residents call us about anything suspicious they might see, we can follow up immediately."
McQueen asks that if residents see anything suspicious, they call the Brazil Police Department at 446-2211.