Mother concerned park behavior

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Manila Police Chief Jackie Hill looks over damages and graffiti to Manila Park equipment. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

A Manila mother of three small children is concerned because a group of teenagers are damaging the playground equipment, writing vulgar words all over the posts and playground equipment, and overall disrupting afternoon playtime for the children at the Manila city park.

"It seems to be getting worse," she said. "Many of us have had to take our children home in the afternoons to keep them from hearing the language being used. Our city does a great job providing the park for everyone and it is a shame that a few will ruin it for everyone else."

A picnic table had been removed from the pavilion and turned over. At least three of the rides in the kiddy playground area have been broken. The playground equipment has been written on.

"I reported the problem to the police one afternoon recently and they did come out and stop the problem that day, but it seems to continue with more damage to the equipment," she said. "The ground cover from the playground area has been thrown all over the walking track. At one time we had a lot of older people walking the track when our children were playing, but it has gotten so bad, they haven't been coming back."

Manila Chief of Police Jackie Hill commented the Mayor and City Council spends a lot of money to provide a nice park and it is a shame that a few want to do damage and tear up.

"We can't be out here 24 hours a day seven days a week," Chief Hill said. "We have to have parents and adults willing to call us and be willing to sign a report and then we can take action. We need input from the parents. It is their tax dollars that pay for the park and some of their kids are tearing it up. If we see them or witnesses see them destroying property at the park or causing trouble, they can be banned from the park or even be charged with criminal mischief."

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