City leaders in Bradford searching for answers to park vandalism problems

Crime

BRADFORD, Ark. – After several break-ins and vandalism at the only park in the community, the city of Bradford is making some changes to up security.

In a small town like Bradford, a city park is where kids come to play, where athletes come to compete and where families come to sit and enjoy lunch.

“All the labor on this whole thing was donated. It’s something people have put a lot of time in and is proud of,” Bradford Mayor Dennis Whitener explained.

That’s why it was tough to see when a few people didn’t respect the time and effort put into the town’s only park.

“You see something messed up and it shouldn’t be, it’s not a very good feeling,” Whitener said.

“It broke my heart,” Council Member Kaye Winningham added.

Winningham grew up in Bradford and watched as this park was built from the ground up. She also saw as people broke in and vandalized what the community worked so hard to provide.

“We had benches here that were stolen. We had bathrooms over here the doors were smashed,” she said. “We need to do something to keep our small park and our complex secure.”

Some measures have already been taken, including bars on windows and signs warning against theft. Last city council meeting, Mayor Whitener proposed adding a park curfew, “from dark until daylight.”

Right now, it’s just a suggestion, as Whitener calls around to other cities to see what they have in place.

“Some of them are from 11:00 at night to 7:00 in the morning. Some of them are from 10:00 p.m. to such and such in the morning, and one city doesn’t have one but they have lights and security cameras,” he said. “We’re trying to find something that will fit us.”

They are hoping what action they take next, will keep the park clean and unharmed for all in the community to enjoy.

“It’s Bradford and we love it, and we don’t want it trashed anymore,” Winningham said.

The council will meet on the first Monday of April. That’s when they will decide on the park curfew.

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