Tulsa Parks Continues To Deal With Vandalism

Monday, June 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Parks employees are dealing with a vandalism problem that gets worse every summer.

From graffiti to outright theft, it takes time to repair and costs taxpayers plenty.

The parks are supposed to be a place of relaxation, but in some parks, vandals are hard at work, damaging city property.

In West Tulsa, the benches at the Challenger 7 park were apparently kicked apart.

Graffiti has been repeatedly sprayed on and sandblasted off.

It's a constant battle according the parks maintenance staff.

"We see a lot of vandalism, we see it all the time,” says David Cox, of Tulsa Parks. “This past week we just had one our first major vandalism which was destroying the fixtures in the men’s room at Zink Park."

The city replaced the fixtures at a cost of nearly $500.

It's not the first time they've been damaged.

"It's just something we have to go through, unfortunately the taxpayer has to pay for it," Cox says.

The parks department spends a lot of time trying to clean up graffiti. It's the most common type of vandalism.

The city spends thousands of dollars every year cleaning up spray paint, but it usually leaves permanent damage.

The city tries to paint over graffiti within 24 hours. The clean up cost $21 thousand dollars last year just for graffiti.

"We really need the eyes of the public and the people who reside near the park to deter this and help us to repairing it quickly so it's not a danger to anybody,” Cox says.

The summer season is just beginning, and officials fear with it will come the annual increase in vandalism.

Tulsa Parks asks that people who see vandals in action call the police.

If the damage has already been done, you can call to report it by calling 5-9-6 "PARKS".