Video: Booneville Takes Steps To Crack Down On Vandals And Vagrants At City Park

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BOONEVILLE, MISS. (WCBI) – One city in our region is cracking down on criminal activity at a public park.

As WCBI”s Allie Martin reports, the problem has cost taxpayers thousands of
dollars and is also a major safety concern.

Booneville’s City Park attracts a lot of sporting events,  but the sprawling complex has also attracted vagrants and vandals.

“We have another couple who live in a car, they’ll stay at the library some,
at our park some,” said Mayor Derrick Blythe.

There were also reports of a shack in the woods near the walking trail. In the restrooms, toilets and sinks have been smashed, and graffiti is often found.  Plus, city owned property has been stolen.

“We went to these big rolls of toilet paper , they were stealing the toilet
paper, stealing the paper towels,” Blythe said.

Vandalism is expensive, it has cost the city about 6 thousand dollars over the past two years to have toilets and sinks replaced at public bathrooms,
but increased police patrols and surveillance cameras at at least one spot have already paid off.

“We have solved a burglary at one of the concession stands there, have actually indicted, two individuals indicted for that, burglary of a
commercial building,” said Police Chief Michael Ramey.

Mayor Blythe says the city plans to put cameras at all buildings in the park.  Also, those in the park after hours will be asked to leave.

“If they’re in our park after 11 o clock at night, and they don’t leave and we catch them again, we’re going to start charging them for vagrancy,” Blythe said.

Both the mayor and police chief say they’re not trying to be harsh, but keeping the park safe and clean, while saving tax dollars, is priority.

Security cameras could be in place at the city park by the end of the year.

Categories: Local News

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