Paragould Police Officer Patrols New Skatepark

October 26, 2004--Posted at 9:00 p.m. CDT

PARAGOULD--A skatepark, in Labor Park,  is where many Paragould teenagers spend their time after school.

"We come out here to skate and that's about it,"said teenager Irvine Shaffer.

A half cent sales tax has made this, and other additions to the parks and recreation system here in Paragould available.

This skate park opened in July, and city officials say it has been a huge success.

"We're always skating, not causing any trouble,"said teenager Billy Simpson.

Unfortunately, trouble made it's way to the skate park.

The kids that were skating were fine. It was just what the skateboarding was drawing to the kids like drugs,"said resident Mary Hooks.

"Alcohol, you name it. A lot of teenagers didn't like that,"said Paragould Police Sgt Ken Jackson.

Those teenagers took matters into their own hands.

Going to police and city officials, and asking them to patrol the area.

"So we kept an officer out there in those peak hours and it has tapered off,"said Jackson.

For nearly a month an officer stayed at the park during the peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

As of now, officers drive by the park throughout the day making sure no one is causing trouble for the teenagers skating at the park.

"They have been perfect citizens, and we have placed police protection over there to make sure they have the good, safe environment we want them to have,"said Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill.