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Village of Gowanda police remove picnic tables and basketball hoops from park due to vandalism

Sirens
Posted at 4:33 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 16:33:44-04

GOWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Village of Gowanda police removed the picnic tables and basketball hoops from St. John Park due to vandalism.

The announcement was made in a lengthy post on the department's Facebook page saying in part:

Attention residents of the Village of Gowanda and those that may visit the village to enjoy our many parks…Please be advised that this morning at my request the picnic tables and basketball hoops have been removed from St. John’s park. It’s unfortunate that this has to be done the first week of summer, however the blatant disrespect for village property has forced this decision.

According to the post:

  • An officer cleaned nearly a bagful of garbage from the pavilion and park areas
  • Nutella, ice cream and various other sticky substances were smeared all over the floor of the pavilion, tables and posts
  • A bike tire and road cone were thrown on one of the hoops
  • One of the pipes were pulled out of the top of the fence
Whoever made the mess should be ashamed, you’ve now lost the hoops and tables for the rest of our residents and kids that would like to enjoy the park…if anyone has info please contact the Gowanda Police."

Police listed the following which they said is the plan going forward:

  1. The police will do everything in our power to up patrols/presence at the parks
  2. Tables/hoops have been temporarily removed, the park will be closed if the issue continues
  3. New cameras are being ordered and will be installed ASAP and will have the ability to be accessed remotely
  4. Citizens will report anonymously or otherwise any inappropriate activity at the parks or anywhere else in the Village for that matter
  5. Any residents interested in joining Neighborhood Watch can contact Gowanda PD and we can get you more info..
  6. Parents please be vigilant and aware of what their kids are doing at the park, it quite literally takes a Village…
  7. Village DPW is actively mowing and freshening up the park in preparation for summer.
  8. Anyone interested in being a Police Officer please contact us as well, we’re hiring! it’s awesome…no seriously…
  9. Any questions can be sent to this messenger or just stop and chat with one of our Officers!, we actually like talking to and getting to know the Village residents in person as opposed to FB messenger or the “You know your from Gowanda” comments. The PD is here to work for you, and to work with you!

You can read the full post below.

Attention residents of the Village of Gowanda and those that may visit the village to enjoy our many parks…Please be advised that this morning at my request the picnic tables and basketball hoops have been removed from St. John’s park. It’s unfortunate that this has to be done the first week of summer, however the blatant disrespect for village property has forced this decision. I responded to the village park this morning as Officer Fitzpatrick cleaned nearly a bagful of garbage from the pavilion and park areas, someone has smeared what appears to be “Nutella “, Ice cream and various other sticky substances all over the floor of the pavilion, tables and posts, someone threw a bike tire and road cone on one of the hoops and pulled one of the pipes out of the top of the fence…this has gone on long enough, our officers are doing what they can down there, Officer Rechin has purchased cases of power ade with his own money and taken it to the park for the kids, spent time hanging out and building relationships, Officer Kehr has gone to the park on numerous occasions and hung out and spoke with the kids building relationships, other officers swing through and do regular premise checks, unfortunately last night our Officer was tied up on various other nonsense for his entire shift which disallowed him to baby sit the park…naturally someone took advantage of that and capitalized by making a disgusting mess…whoever made the mess should be ashamed, you’ve now lost the hoops and tables for the rest of our residents and kids that would like to enjoy the park…if anyone has info please contact the Gowanda Police…not the Mayor…not the trustees..the Police..532-2020 or simply 911…The Mayor and Trustees are awesome!, but should not be your first point of contact…it will ring through to dispatch just like every other police department in the country and we will respond. As far as the ongoing damage I find it difficult to believe that no one else sees what is happening, the truth is we can’t be everywhere, we do our best but we have to rely on our citizens to report to us as quickly as possible, this is a team effort after all, as far as the plan going forward

1. The police will do everything in our power to up patrols/presence at the parks

2. Tables/hoops have been temporarily removed, the park will be closed if the issue continues

3.New cameras are being ordered and will be installed ASAP and will have the ability to be accessed remotely

4. Citizens will report anonymously or otherwise any inappropriate activity at the parks or anywhere else in the Village for that matter

5. Any residents interested in joining Neighborhood Watch can contact Gowanda PD and we can get you more info..

6.Parents please be vigilant and aware of what their kids are doing at the park, it quite literally takes a Village…

7.Village DPW is actively mowing and freshening up the park in preparation for summer.

8.Anyone interested in being a Police Officer please contact us as well, we’re hiring! it’s awesome…no seriously…

9. Any questions can be sent to this messenger or just stop and chat with one of our Officers!, we actually like talking to and getting to know the Village residents in person as opposed to FB messenger or the “You know your from Gowanda” comments. The PD is here to work for you, and to work with you!

-Thank You!

OIC Ben Shields