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Police: Better Supervision Needed at Grand Avenue Park

Police plan to ask residents to start a neighborhood watch program and help keep watch at the secluded park to curb vandalism.

The secluded park in north Monrovia that has been the needs better community supervision and visibility, a sergeant said Tuesday.

Shielded from the the street by lush foliage, few deterrents are available to prevent illegal activities like vandalism and underage drinking at Grand Avenue Park, Monrovia Police Sgt. Glen Coleman said.

Police will ask residents in the area to keep better watch near the park and start up a neighborhood watch program during a community meeting slated for Wednesday night, Coleman said.

"If we just have people who keep their eye out or call us when they see kids lurking in the bushes or something then maybe we can prevent some vandalism," Coleman said. "If they can all band together and keep an eye on it for us that would be great."

Coleman speculated that most of the illegal activity at the park was taking place in the afternoons and noted that its secluded location makes it tougher to patrol the area. He said one option on the table Wednesday will be to remove the brush at the park's entrance to allow for better visibility.

Police have tried repeatedly to remove a makeshift BMX biking course behind the park to no avail, Coleman said.

"We’ve cleaned that up so many times and they just end up going back up there," he said, noting that the kids responsible for building the track aren't necessarily responsible for the vandalism. "I don’t even know if any of those guys have anything to do with these vandalisms, to tell you the truth."

The community meeting to discuss the vandalism at the park will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Monrovia Community Center.

Joe Black October 05, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Mr Ziegler, instead of congratulating these youths for taking the law in their own hands, maybe you should try educating these youths and their families on how to obtain their objectives in a democratic fashion by gathering the support of their community. Isn’t it possible that many families that use this park may not want this sort of activity around their young children playing on the swings? Isn’t it possible that these youths are using this park at night and creating a nuisance for the adjacent neighbors? The last time I checked, we live in a nation of laws to protect everyone. Requiring young people to live by the law is in no way reducing their liberties, but works towards protecting the liberties of everyone.
David D October 05, 2011 at 08:38 PM
I live really close to this park and go with my kids. I have seen the kid bikers smoking weed and another time eating and throwing trash on the swings itself. There was no respect shown for the facilities..So the fact that the equipemnt is being tagged is no surprise to me.
Chris Ziegler October 05, 2011 at 08:43 PM
The old, "We have to stop those kids or we'll get sued" excuse..... Please say hello to our friend, government code 831.7 (a): "Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable to any person who participates in a hazardous recreational activity, including any person who assists the participant, or to any spectator who knew or reasonably should have known that the hazardous recreational activity created a substantial risk of injury to himself or herself and was voluntarily in the place of risk," The risk of a lawsuit is an overplayed excuse used to trounce activities that are unpopular to well connected and or vocal citizens that are often not reflective of the community as a whole. Joe, I'm not sure you know what you are talking about: I didn't commend anyone for vandalism and the BMX track is not anywhere near where small kids would play.
Joe Black October 05, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Chris, I am not an attorney, however, I do not believe government code 831.7(a) applies as this BMX course is not sanctioned by the City which is why they have continually dismantled it. I agree that if a BMX Park was sanctioned by the City with proper signage regarding the dangers of the activity, government code 831.7(a) would apply. As it stands now, this is a simply a potential hazard created by local youths that someone could sue on the basis that their child was simply riding their bicycle and wandered onto the course and got hurt. Given the City had been alerted of the unsanctioned course, they could conceivably be held liable.
Danielle Corona October 06, 2011 at 03:43 AM
Jeez, Joe... weren't you ever a kid? We have a skate park, we could have a BMX park. Kids just want to do their thing, and a BMX bike park would be a safer place for them then the streets which is their alternative. As a kid growing up in the 70's, I can remember we would take over any empty spot we could find. Our goal was fun, not to trash the place. I go to this park with my kids on a semi-regular basis, and would go there more if there was more traffic, more visibility. I worry more about the wildlife when I am there alone with the kids, not the other kids.

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