Criminal activity at city parks leads to 10:30 p.m. closing proposal – Minnesota News

Criminal activity at city parks leads to 10:30 p.m. closing proposal – Minnesota News

In the past, the Detroit Lakes City Park closed to the public at 10 p.m., while all other city parks, including the public beach, stayed open until 1:30 a.m. — an inconsistency that was pointed out by Police Chief Steven Todd, who felt the late closure time was a major factor in one local park becoming the site of increased vandalism, drug use and other criminal activity.

“Since starting in my position I’ve been approached by officers and other city officials concerning extensive problems at Peoples Park,” says Todd. “Officers are routinely dealing with issues at Peoples Park such as fights, domestics, vandalism, littering, drinking and drug use. I regularly receive calls from Public Works concerning vandalism to city buildings and city property there. Large groups of people are hanging around in Peoples Park during late night hours and I’d like to provide a tool to our officers to move them along before the above listed problems materialize…

“Since the middle of February we’ve had 25 calls there, which is high,” Todd added. “Many of the problems happen later at night. I looked at our city ordinance on parks and found that our parks do not have consistent closing times. Washington Park by the Pavilion closes at 10 p.m., while everything else closes at 1:30 a.m…. I’d like to have all of the parks in Detroit Lakes close at the same time.”

Initially, Todd had requested that the city beach be included in the early closing time; however, due to some complaints by local residents, the city’s Public Safety Committee recommended to the council that they leave the beach closing time the same, at 1:30 a.m., while setting the…

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