Green Country Sees Rise In Vandalism
TULSA, Oklahoma - Green County is experiencing a rise in vandalism, costing large amounts of money for many cities in the area.
City officials said it can cost anywhere between $30 thousand to $100 thousand to replace an entire playground. As a result, the city is installing their new high-tech makeover.
Police said a man, seen in a picture posted by Sand Springs Police, recently turned himself in after police posted pictures of him allegedly spray painting part of a playground.
"The equipment is extremely expensive anytime you try to clean it." said Joe Medlin, the Parks Division Supervisor with Sand Springs Parks and Recreation. "It doesn't look the same as it did when it was bought, it changes the color, it affects the plastic."
All of these factors have contributed to the Sand Springs Parks and Recreation Department investing in more high-tech tools.
"That's what we are trying to go to is have cameras to catch them," Medlin said.
To make matters worse, the recent floods damaged several playgrounds. Medlin said it takes away valuable time and money.
"The wood fiber has to come out, the turf floated up from the floodwater all that's been removed and has to be put back down we have five playgrounds down right now we don't need any other down now," Medlin said.
Parents said they believe the cameras can also prevent all types of crime.
"Kids can be bullied there could be altercations, kidnappings,” said Veronica Hart.
Communities around green country have also been dealing with vandalism at parks. In april of last year, vandals hit the Blue Whale in Catoosa, putting picnic tables in the water, and trying to kick in the gift shops door.
In September of last year, Bartlesville park vandals shot up a portable toilet and spray painted graffiti on walls.
The cameras going in Sand Springs cost about $500 a piece but officials said they are well worth it.