Complaints about inappropriate language and behavior taking place in local parks are nothing new.
During a March 2012 walk-through of South Veterans Memorial Park to see damage and graffiti first-hand, RPD dispatcher Aaron Gurley, chief of police Craig Tucker, city parks director Danny Mathews and Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey and others vowed to reclaim the parks from those individuals who misbehave and to make the city parks a safer and more family-friendly environment.
The decision to form a “Parks Patrol” was born.
Through an application process volunteers were sought to walk the various city parks at their leisure and note any “unacceptable activity” and report it to law enforcement.
“Enough is enough! We are going to reclaim our city parks and make them a safe and family-friendly environment for every Rushville and Rush County citizen to enjoy,” Mathews said at that time. Those sentiments were echoed by Tucker, Gurley and Pavey.
At present, an effort is underway to recruit additional volunteers interested in serving as Parks Patrol members.
Individuals chosen are required to volunteer 10 hours a month and receive training in various areas: communication skills, autism awareness, CPR, basic first aid and a strong awareness of ordinances regarding city parks.
Through the efforts of the Parks Patrol it is hoped that incidences of littering, foul language, unrestrained pets, underage drinking, smoking and bicyclists and skateboarders on the walking path will be reduced.
Currently, seven individuals participate as Parks Patrol volunteers. With the arrival of a new year, organizers hope to expand the group; applications are currently available at the RPD, 270 West 15th Street, and City Hall, 133 West First Street.
“We will be accepting application from now through February 8. We hope to have enough support to cover park hours of 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.,” Tucker said.
Parks Patrol members will work from April through October.
Additional information can be obtained by contacting Gurley or Tucker at the RPD at (765) 932-3907.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106