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Bartlesville looks to tackle rampant vandalism at parks across the city

Posted: 4:48 PM, Sep 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-19 18:07:13-04

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. -- Melted slides, spray-painted walls, and bathroom fixtures ripped out with a sledgehammer are just a few of the issues the Bartlesville parks department faces as they maintain the city.

The superintendent tells 2 Works for You as they chase these problems, it can often affect the day to day.

"They've been trying to keep up on their mowing. If we have to shut down two or three hours and come clean up graffiti or vandalism in the parks it takes away from our maintenance in other areas," Bobby Robinson said.

Robinson said he gets frustrated when new equipment is targeted, like the port-a-potty covered in bullet holes shortly after arriving.

"Anytime a firearm is used that is very, very serious. The thing is, you've got to catch the person doing that. A lot of times it's after hours. Our park closes at 11:00 so basically if anybody is in the park after 11:00 that's against the ordinances," he said.

The city relies on community groups throughout the year to paint over vandalized walls, but said it's an ongoing cycle. Park visitors said they're surprised to see this happen in what's usually a quiet area.

"I have teenage children so it's a little bit alarming. As a mother you always think about what your kids could be doing, even if you think they're the best kids in the world. So just knowing things like that are taking place is making me want to be really cautious with my kids," Kyla Sullivan said.

Park staff ask those who see vandalism to report it, and call police if you catch vandals in the act.

"I have teenage children so it's a little bit alarming. As a mother you always think about what your kids could be doing, even if you think they're the best kids in the world. So just knowing things like that are taking place is making me want to be really cautious with my kids."