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No suspects in alleged BB gun incident at McKinley

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published April 13, 2016

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FRASER — A March 30 incident at McKinley Park has not brought anyone to justice yet, but it has provided local police with even more impetus to stop vandals.

Fraser police reported that windows located on the east-facing wall of McKinley Barrier-Free Park’s comfort station were shot with a BB gun.

The tiny holes of damage — which caused a window replacement and caulk resealing — were enough to warrant a deeper look into the future security of the park, as well as other notable areas within the city where children are present.

Lt. Mike Pettyes said the department believed they caught a suspect associated with the incident, but the individual in question did something unrelated.

Pettyes said that for the most part the park hasn’t been the target of any major abuse, saying it’s just been “kids getting in areas they shouldn’t have.” He cited one incident with a broken bottle in the parking lot, which was cleaned up by the DPW.

Vandalism can incur charges like malicious destruction of property, which vary based on the monetary amount associated with damage.

“The director (George Rouhib) last week came out with a strategic plan — a whole list of things in the works,” Pettyes said. “We’re installing cameras that will be monitored at the DPS, we have a crime prevention officer going out to distribute flyers to every resident that borders that park, indicating that if they see something to call them.

“We’ve got a lot of good, positive feedback from the residents.”

Police have also reached out to Fraser residents via social media, such as the popular Every Neighbor United For Fraser, or E.N.U.F.F., Facebook group page that includes nearly 4,000 members.

Security cameras are in the process of going live, depending on proper funds and money allocation. The DPS’ goal is to install cameras at both McKinley Park and Fort Fraser, in Steffens Park near the DPS and City Hall.

Along with cameras is the implementation of signs showing proper park hours. Fraser’s city ordinance states that parks open at dawn and close at dusk, which is strictly enforced and will result in the issuing of tickets to offenders.

Pettyes noted that police physically cannot watch the park on a 24-7 basis, saying they will do their part if the citizens cooperate as well. That includes residents in the park’s neighboring homes — who Pettyes called “receptive” — calling police if any questionable activity is taking place.

“Our patrol division on every shift is patrolling (the park) and logging it,” he said. “We’re putting it as a high priority. It’s a brand new park and we want to keep it nice, but we need the help of the citizens.

“Every park you have attracts kids, and kids are going to be kids. It hasn’t been bad. Other than (the vandalism incident) the people who have visited the park have enjoyed it and really respected it. We’re staying on top of it.”

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