Jarrod R. Kohls
Members of the Rio Vista Recreation Commission met with members of the community at Crescent Park on Monday to discuss the future of the park. Amidst reports of nefarious and illegal activity that occur after hours on the premises, the community banded together to brain storm some potential remedies to ensure, not only the safety of the neighborhood surrounding the park – but also the safety of those youth that utilize the park’s amenities in the appropriate manner.
This marked the first of a series of open forums that the commission plans to hold at each of the parks in town. The gathering saw dozens of community members attending to contribute their ideas on ways to better the recreation facilities in town.
The consensus of the gathering was that the community has to take the lead to ensure safety at the park. By having the residents of the neighborhood keeping a watchful eye on the premises, the potential for curbing the recent stream of undesirable behavior can become greater.
“We are encouraging people here to band together,” said Commission Chairman Ed Vitrano. “Band together to become more familiar with each other so that they can come here as a group to handle the loitering and issues that are occurring at this park after hours.“
Aside from the idea of a community watch program, two different ideas were proposed to address the issues at hand. Vitrano explained that the back gate of the park serves as an escape hatch for late night abusers of the park facility. As a cost effective solution, it was decided that the gate would be locked in order to take away that access point. He also explained that research would be done as to the installation of a motion sensitive light fixture in the furthest most corner of the park.
“Locking the gate is a very easy temporary solution to the problem, “said Police Chief Greg Bowman. “In terms of the light, it comes down to a budget issue. General crime prevention suggests that light is good. Period. Its just a matter of seeing if the installation is doable.”
Bowman explained that he was impressed by the turnout of community members to the meeting and that there wasn’t a shortage of positive ideas to remedy the situation.
The Recreation Commission will be meeting at the Council Chambers for their regularly scheduled meeting on June 25 at 7 p.m. where they will continue their discussion on the matter of Crescent Park.