FRANKFORT, Ind. — Local parks superintendents and police departments are calling on parents to be more vigilant of where their children are after numerous parks have been vandalized in recent weeks.
The most recent incident happened at John Redmon Park on the southside of Frankfort. Park officials showed up to do their weekly check on Monday and found extensive damage.
“The horrific things we find are the swastikas, there’s gang signs that they’ve drawn, obviously lots of phallic objects and cuss words and things that we don’t wanna see,” Frankfort Parks Superintendent Bart Kraning said.
His team also found pieces of the playground broken off and numerous bathrooms with their sink and toilets destroyed.
“It happens all the time. To be honest, I would be confident in saying weekly,” Kraning said. ‘We try to plan for preventative maintenance, but when this gets added to it, it just eats the budget up.”
Kraning said his department has spent more than $12,000 of his $20,000 repair budget so far this year and he now has to pay for this latest damage.
“It does seem like a lot of this is happening very, very late at night and the kids I’m finding on camera are 12 13, 14 years old,” Kraning said. “These kids have parents and so I would just say, where are they at?”
Frankfort is not alone in dealing with park vandalism.
The City of Fishers announced earlier this week that it would be closing its park bathrooms at 8 p.m. in response a number of recent incidents of vandalism.
“We believe these acts are at the hands of minors after park closure at dusk when the parks are not as populated,” Fishers Police Chief Ed Gebhart said in a statement on Friday.
Gebhart said the department has increased patrols, installed surveillance cameras and added signs asking the community to report suspicious activity.
In the heart of summer, parents, please take the time to know where your children are and where they are gathering,” Gebhart said. “A few simple measures of accountability and setting expectations can go a long way in keeping our parks properties in great condition.”
Potter’s Bridge Park in Noblesville was also recently vandalized when several people spray painted graffiti inside the historic bridge. Surveillance cameras helped identify the suspects and three people were arrested and charged in the case.
Kraning said the community has been very supportive and he asks that people be on the lookout so they can stop wasting money on unnecessary repairs.
“We have stuff to do every day so when this gets added onto it it just puts us behind and behind,” Kraning said. “I don’t think people should try and stop people on their own but they should try to get the right people involved.”
Anyone who knows anything about any of the vandalism incidents is urged to contact police. The Frankfort Police Department can be reached at (765) 654-4431 and Fishers Police can be reached at 317-773-1282.