John Stiff Memorial Skate Park sees increase in underage crime
Wed, 10 Jul 2013 23:28:19 GMT —
For Amarillo brothers Darius Samuels and Jabaar Turner it's all fun and games at John Stiff Memorial Park.
They said, on hot summer days, it's water and candy for them, but once the sun sets it's a much different story.
"That's usually when the drugs and alcohol start to show up, in the parking lot or whenever it starts to get dark.," said Biker Darius Samuels. The crimes are also physical. "We have seen a couple of fights up here the last couple of weeks," said Biker Jabaar Turner.
An increase in crime has changed the dynamic of the park and that has authorities on alert.
"We made about 20 or so calls out in the skate park area for things like fights, disturbances, reports of young people smoking marijuana or using alcohol in the park," said Sgt. Brent Barbee.
Amarillo police officers and the Department of Parks and Recreation are cracking down on the underage crime.
"The officers that are assigned to the area are aware of the increase and they try to spend more time out there looking for activity," said Barbee. "We use directed patrols and we use them not just at John Stiff Park, but at several parks."
"When crimes or activity is reported we certainly discuss that or turn that over to the Police Department in order for them to address anything that may be illegal," said City of Amarillo Department of Parks and Recreation Director Rod Tweet.
APD and the Department of Parks and Recreation said that they can't do it alone, and need parents to help in their efforts.
"The best thing to do is to get a hold of a park employee, park administration, or the police department if they see, witness, or come across any type of activity that shouldn't be at the park," said Tweet.