New curfew at Paragould City Parks

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)- A new curfew policy is in place at the Paragould City Parks to combat on-going problems with disturbances and vandalism at the parks. And unless you have a R-V pad rented, at 9:00p.m it's time to leave.

"We actually had one were they took one of our large wooden picnic tables and burned a large hole in it," said Paragould Parks and Recreation Director Pat Austin. She says the biggest problem has been at the pavilions, from spray painting graffiti to consuming alcohol.

"You know I think they think they're having fun, but it's destruction of the city property and it's costing the tax payers," said Austin.

Signs have recently popped up at all the city parks, to enforce a new curfew. Now if there's a disturbance, Austin says police officers have the extra leverage they need. "If it wasn't posted they'd say what time do I have to be out of here. Now that we have the signs post, the police officers says that sign says 9 o'clock so you're out," said Austin.

She hopes the new policy will keeps the ruckus out. "We want our parks to stay nice a quiet. So we don't need the kids out here with their loud music doing whatever else it is that they do," said Austin.

Especially at Reynolds Park, where families come out to feed the ducks, and people like to come out with the RV. Like Ken Wyman and his wife Diane. They like to come out to relax, fish, and spend time with each other. But say they've seen their share of mischief.

"Young kids on the bridge doing stuff they're not suppose to. I've witnessed quite a bit out here," said Ken Wyman.

"They come out and they sit and cuss or get in altercations with other kids here. You end up with police out here. It's just not a pretty scene," said Diane Wyman.

Austin says since they initiated the new time, they have stepped up police presence after hours. And the Wyman family is happy to see that the city is taking steps in the right direction. "Police were out patrolling and they asked out name and stuff. And they say we closed the park, and we said we got a camper over there and he was like oh okay that's a different situation," said Diane Wyman.

While Austin says none of the damages have been major at the parks, they want to take the right precautions to prevent that from happening.

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