The City of Bartlesville says it is dealing with some form of vandalism every day in at least one of the city’s 17 parks.
They say it’s expensive to fix and costs the city in manpower.
“We come in and we paint over the profanity as we find it,” said Bobby Robinson. “The restroom itself has been tagged on all the walls pretty much.”
Robinson showed me around Eddie Mason Park – a popular spot for kids, with Panther Playground. He says it’s also a popular spot for those looking to cause trouble.
“This fountain you can see here has been vandalized. We need to get a replacement fixture for that. That’s a common thing, to be torn up and vandalized,” said Robinson.
At Eddie Mason Park, the problems range from the broken fountain, to spray painted walls, to toilet paper holders they can’t keep in place, and shattered mirrors that had to be taken down.
Robinson says “it’s an ongoing battle to keep up with everything.”
Down the street at Hudson Lake, a portable toilet was recently shot up – the door riddled with bullet holes.
At Robinwood Park, Robinson says they can hardly keep up with the graffiti.
“It’s expensive and it ranges anywhere from, for instance, a can of paint to paint over the tagging, all the way to buying fixtures that can run several hundred dollars apiece,” he said.
Eddie Mason is the only park with a security camera. Many of those caught end up right back at the park and put to work.
“They will be put on community service, usually,” said Robinson. “Those violators will be cleaning up the same things they’ve been caught doing.”
All of the parks close at 11:00 p.m.
City officials are asking for the community to get more involved. If you see someone in a park after hours, they want you to call police.