Park with trees

Show Your Parks Some Extra Love – Prevent Vandalism

It’s Parks and Rec month.  Let’s celebrate all the joy these parks bring to our communities!  We all know how much Parks and Recreation committees lo♥e what they do.  And we know how important it is to have a good image of our parks and recreational facilities.  A park image that is presentable to the community promotes opportunity and keeps its users happy. Keeping the parks and rec areas clean and safe from vandalism and trespassing, is a big part of that image.

Rules are another way to lo♥e our parks.  Having rules for parks and recreational centers creates a secure environment.  If parks and recreation agencies develop and adopt enforceable standards and guidelines for the land and facilities related to their use, there is less opportunity for mischief.   Although most parks have  certain set hours of when the park and rec center is open to the public, it can be hard to enforce. But monitoring and enforcing is another way to love your parks.  Give a presentable image by monitoring the vandalism and trespassing concern areas of the property and facilities and enforce when rules are broken.

Give your parks extra lo♥e this month by expanding a secure area for its users, by securing the area and deterring nuisances—such as trespassing after hours, vandalism, and gang activity.  Deterring vandalism helps the overall image of the parks by forming a clean, safe atmosphere.  Protect your parks and activity centers and prevent rules from being broken by installing a means of crime deterrent.  Set up a visible camera system to mandate that the rules are being followed, even while you aren’t watching.

Investigate, study and recommend these needed improvements this month to your city council to deter the vandalism and trespassing concerns. According to the study done by the National Recreation and Park Association, by creating safe park environments, you enhance community wellness.  When the community is happy, it makes the operations of the Parks Department more efficient and effective.  It will pay off because your community will end up lo♥ing your parks and rec centers just as much as you already do.  Now that’s something to celebrate!

Motocross

Illegally Trespassing-Terrain Vehicles — a Crime that Hurts Many

All-Terrain Vehicle riding is a fun and enjoyable experience. Most riders are respectful of the laws regarding ATV riding, but some are not.  ATV riding in places prohibited is Illegal Trespassing.  It is a crime that hurts many and in many ways that are not obvious

 

The Illegal Trespassing of ATVs is an ongoing nuisance for city Parks & Recreation Departments, costing them a plethora of resources.  Manpower is needed to repair the environmental destruction, security officers are hired for hours on end to patrol the landscape, and the police department is called to report the crimes and identify the trespassers.  According to the Department of Natural Resources in an article by the StarTribune, the expenses cost $450,000 in just a few years.

 

In addition to the rising costs of damages to the city caused by the Illegal Trespassing of ATVs, homeowners with land are not a stranger to this growing problem, according to one landowner who brought this to the attention of CBC news. Wildlife habitats are also harmed by a trespassing ATV carelessly riding over their homes and destroying their fragile ecosystems.  In addition to all of this, the community water resources are polluted if an ATV decides to illegally cruise along the water supplies!

 

Furthermore, budgets for damages are not the only pains caused by ATV trespassers that city organizations need to worry about.  A simple budget of $100,000 for ATV trespassers could quickly turn into several medical expenses added to the overall cost.   For instance, a CantoRep.com article states a security guard working for Osnabug Township had to remain in the hospital while suffering from severe road rash, after being dragged by an illegally trespassing ATV.

 

The Illegal Trespassers may not understand the damage and hurt they cause.  If people do not understand the problem, how can City Parks and Recreation Departments prevent this crime that hurts many?

School Safety in the Beholder’s Hands

School Safety in the Beholder’s Hands

School safety has improved with modern technology. Camera systems, target hardening (strengthening the target), and other crime prevention systems will not secure schools if they are not used properly. One may think that technology is better, therefore the security will be better, but that is only if the beholder uses the security systems properly.

As it states in the Police Chief Magazine, “As good as modern security technology is, it cannot replace common-sense systems of visitor and vender control.” Police Chief Magazine suggests that schools should use both “technology and CPTED” for school security. CPTED is an advanced principle that stands for crime prevention through environmental design. CPTED has been a proven effective method of crime prevention, but is only as good as the beholder’s judgement.

Effective crime prevention tools can provide school safety only when the right people are in place. Tools like crime prevention are good but the person has to use them correctly. Proper training and having the correct people using the tools can make effective use of modern technology. Structures like CPTED are good, but criminals can still find a way in, and it is necessary for administrators and security officers to be aware of the limitations and use good judgment accordingly.

When the right resource officers and school administrators are in place and are trained correctly, tools like crime prevention camera systems can be proven as an effective tool for school safety.

Garbage

Illegal Dumping – Breeding Mosquitoes

Illegal dumping sites are a breeding ground for all kinds of diseases and mosquitoes.  In addition to rodents and the microscopic organisms, there are the disease carrying insects.  These creatures enter into the human domain, carrying with them their diseases, or become infected after biting a disease carrying source.  Some diseases transmitted by the mosquito in North America are Malaria, West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, and the most recent scare, Zika Fever.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, Mosquitoes require water to undergo their life cycle.  The four stages of life, hatching from an egg to becoming an adult flying insect, can take anywhere from 4 days to a few months, depending on the temperature and other environmental factors.  The female flying insect then searches for a blood meal, which can be an animal or a human.  After feeding, the female mosquito lays the eggs on or near water.

According to The American Mosquito Control Association, AMCA, a nonprofit organization that provides information and education to help communities suppress the mosquito population,  many mosquito problems in your neighborhoods are likely to come from water filled containers.

Now, imagine the unintended containers left at an illegal dump site.  Just to name a few, there are tires, mattresses, and toys.  Left unattended these articles accumulate more than enough stagnate water to attract and breed mosquitoes.

With the large amounts of rain and snow most cities have experienced this winter and spring, there is a lot of standing water.  And there are a lot of Illegal Dumping Sites.  Therefore, the probability of pestilence is high this year.

Illegal Dumping is a problem cities should take seriously. Thankfully, most people dispose of their trash in a responsible way.  However, there are some who do not, and the rest of the population is counting on the cities to do everything they can to prevent the  mosquito borne diseases that are plaguing the communities.  What is your city doing to prevent illegal dumping, the mosquito breeding grounds?