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Vandalism still issue in Ennis

City parks, cemeteries reporting destruction of property, flags
For tight-knit communities like Ennis, acts of vandalism hit close to home, angering more than the city workers who have to clean up the mess.
This summer has seen a particularly high rate of vandalism as city parks and community cemeteries have been targets of destruction and disarray.
Ennis Park and Recreation Director Larry Skinner recently gave an update at the June meeting of his department’s board, detailing the man-hours spent cleaning up parks after vandals struck and the waste of time it creates for city workers who have to leave regular assignments to deal with the problem.
Skinner said offenses include emptying waste receptacles onto playgrounds to dumping picnic tables into area lakes and ponds. His frustration was evident as he addressed the board.
“Things have been bad this year,” Skinner said. “There have been eight or nine acts of vandalism that have ranged from spray-painting ugly words on park pavilions to throwing picnic tables into the lake. The latest major incident was when someone stole seats from the bleachers at the softball fields at Bluebonnet Park. However, the very latest situation the city crews had to clean up was when somebody left a chest of drawers on a picnic table at the park. We had to haul them off to the dumpster. It has been an interesting summer so far.”
Local vandalism hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Ennis Police Department or by City Manager Steve Howerton who explained what measures are being taken to put an end to the trouble.
“The police department has increased surveillance at the parks and is actively working to stop the problem,” Howerton said.
He added he is frustrated with the extra manpower and expense the city has had to put into cleaning up such senseless acts.
“It is extremely sad for our citizens because they are the ones paying for the clean up,” Howerton said. “It is a colossal waste of resources in a budget year where the cost of fuel is so much higher, and we are trying to be good stewards of what we have. The city will spend about $10-20 thousand in rebuilding, repainting and repairs when that money could be put into a park construction fund and a whole new park built from it in a few years. The people who are doing this should be ashamed of themselves and we encourage citizens who see anything suspicious at the parks or anyone destroying park property to let the police department know about it so we can handle it.”
Recently at St. Joseph Cemetery vandals cut the rope on the flagpole so they could remove the flag, which they then abandoned, desecrated on the ground. They also left graffiti on the roadway leading into the cemetery.
Groundskeeper Joey Glaspy said hopes the perpetrators can be apprehended.
“I know the police department is doing what they can to stop things like this from happening and I hope the community does their part,” he said, pointing out the good news that no graves have been disturbed.
American Legion Post #7106 Ladies Auxiliary treasurer Norma Juricek said she is upset at the destruction of flags at Ennis cemeteries because her group donates them.
“Our group provides the flags for area cemeteries,” she said.
“All anyone has to do is contact us and we will get one to them. It really bothers me that someone with no respect for the flag would do anything to desecrate it. It is a horrible thing to see and I hope that whoever is responsible is stopped.”
To report acts of vandalism in the city, readers are asked to contact the Ennis Police Department at 972-875-4462.

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Posted by on Jun 27 2008. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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