Police Step Up Patrols at Beaver Dam Park
Neighbors report that dozens of young adults frequent the park at night and leave it a mess.
Pellington Drive resident Jack Sheehan, who had already sent the mayor a letter of complaint signed by residents, came out to Tuesday's council work session to further air his growing apprehension about some of the park's visitors.
"Over the last three to four years, we have witnessed the erosion of our quality of life," Sheehan said. "Formerly, we would often tell relatives and friends that we hardly saw any police activity in our area. Now we are requesting some additional activity."
Sheehan explained that a growing number of young adults who are not known to residents come at night to use the park and often leave it a mess.
"The use and abuse is as follows," Sheehan continued. "Dogs are brought into the park and allowed to run loose, garbage is not put into the containers that are supplied, possible alcohol is being consumed at the facility, the brook is somewhat compromised as bottles and cans and, yes, a basketball have been thrown into the brook."
Borough manager Tom Metzler said last Tuesday that he had raised the residents' complaints at a sitdown with the police chief and captain, the parks and recreation superintendent, and the parks supervisor to coordinate a plan of action for combating the problem.
As a result of the meeting, Metzler said a memo had been sent out to the police patrol division asking them to give special attention to the park. Auxiliary police officers are also regularly checking the area.
To deal with the off-leash dogs reported at the park, health and human services director Carol Wagner has been advised to direct the animal warden to pass through the park.
"Basically, we’ve increased patrol observations in that particular area," Metzler said. "We will respond quickly to resident complaints to that area."
While Sheehan had also requested that police step up the issuance of summonses to dog ordinance violators, Metzler explained that those decisions can't be mandated and are up to an officer's discretion.
"A warning versus a ticket is the discretion of the police officer," he said. "And their ultimate goal is compliance."
Metzler said that to this point when police have responded to complaints at the park, the individuals in question have complied with police requests.
"They put people on notice, the people complied, the case was closed," he said.
Metzler also said he would look into Deputy Mayor Ed Trawinski's suggestion that the borough consider installing surveillance cameras at the park to increase compliance.
"At least to know that it’s there I think might dissuade people from some of this stuff," Trawinski said. "If we have the reduced manpower that we have in the department and if that’s going to become somewhat of a way of life, the new norm if it will, then I think we need to think outside the box for other alternatives."