Local News

Story published: 03-05-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Vandals target Jonesborough parks

By Kristen Swing
Executive Editor

An apparent increase in instances of vandalism at town-owned property has officials upping their security efforts at those locations.

“We’ve been having some issues with the vandalizing of town parks and we’ve had some recent discussions on what we can do to resolve it,” Town Administrator Bob Browning confirmed. “It’s unfortunate that we have people come in and get their jollies by destroying public property.”

Browning says the vandalism has ranged from graffiti on buildings at the parks to bathroom doors being propped open so pipes would freeze in cold weather.

The most recent instances reported to Jonesborough police occurred in February at Stage Road Park.

On Feb. 9, authorities discovered rocks thrown on the walking trail at the park and the bathroom doors propped open.

Days later, on Feb. 14, police were called back to the park where they found “profane words” related to homosexuality painted on a shed located near the railroad tracks.

“Most of it is being done at night,” Browning said. “It is really frustrating when you’re trying to have good facilities in our small town and this keeps happening.”

Admitting you “can only lock up so much,” Browning said the town is looking at other ways to reduce the vandalism at town-owned property.

Signs now hang prominently at several parks including Stage Road Park and Depot Street Park offering a reward to anyone who gives “information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons committing theft or vandalism on park property.”

And according to the Feb. 14 police report, patrols have been stepped up in and around Stage Road Park since the most recent incident.

The public can also help by reporting any unusual activity in and around town-owned property, Browning noted.

“We’ve had to go in several times and repaint and repair things,” Browning said. “It costs the taxpayers every time we have to fix what is being done.”