Slater city officials, citizens and students have taken steps to stop the vandalism that has plagued the Kiddie Park in recent months, and Mayor Stephen Allegri said the good news is that the town is pulling together to solve the problem.
Vandals have hit the restroom at the Kiddie Park twice in recent months -- the facility is freshly renovated as part of a big park improvement project -- setting fires, writing graffiti on the walls and leaving feces on the floor.
Allegri reported to the city council Tuesday, Oct. 7, that city and school officials had spoken at a recent school assembly about the situation.
"The kids are really interested in seeing an end to the vandalism," Allegri said. "(They) are very enthusiastic and very determined."
Steps that have been taken since the most recent incident in mid-September include the formation of a neighborhood watch, posting of fliers asking people to report susicious behavior and a motion-triggered camera has been installed in the park.
The camera was donated by a citizen, according to council member Terry Jordan.
"I applaud these folks for stepping up," he said.
Allegri said the camera worked so well in tests that officials are considering whether to place more of them at key locations around the city.
Allegri said the thing that upset him most about the situation was the fact that acts perpetrated by a few vandals were reflecting poorly on the town and its young people, most of whom "are not like that."