Park Vandalism Leads to New Surveillance System

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BOONVILLE - Lion's Park, located off 11th Street, expects to install surveillance cameras Wednesday morning. Boonville City Parks Director Gary Nauman said he hopes the cameras will help decrease vandalism at the park.

The City of Boonville has spent thousands of dollars repairing park infrastructure, including basketball goals, which are constantly being torn down by vandals.

"We're at the point where we're just tired of it," said Nauman. "We had an 18-month period where we replaced the back boards of the basketball goals five times."

Nauman has discussed with city officials different options to stop the vandalism.

"We have talked about closing the park," said Nauman. "But that is the absolute last resort."

The City plans to install four surveillance cameras, which will cost up to $4,000, around the park in hopes of identifying individuals daring to damage the park.

Stacey Stark, whose children often play around the park, said she would feel more comfortable with the new cameras.

"I think it's a great idea," said Stark. "A lot of kids over here are unsupervised by their parents and they seem to just find trouble. I'll be glad that it's done, not only for my kids' safety, but for other kids in the park as well."

Nauman also said there are problems with the picnic tables getting damaged and children attempting arson in the restrooms.

"In April, we have had several instances where someone has gone into the restrooms and started a fire. It is really started to become an aggravation more than anything," Nauman said.

The Boonville Police Department has increased its supervision of the area, which has proven positive results with the apprehending of individuals doing some of the vandalism.

The police department is currently making two stops a day at the park.