Vandals target park in Salem, parks and rec director looking for answers

Local News

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Salem’s Centennial Park has been vandalized twice in the last three weeks, with damage still left behind that needs to be cleaned up. But, the director of Salem’s Parks and Recreation Department is working hard to put an end to these acts of vandalism.

This past Sunday, sinks and toilet paper holders were ripped off the walls in both of the park’s bathrooms, along with the toilets being knocked loose.

Parks Department Director Shane Franks says this isn’t the first time vandals have targeted Centennial Park.

“We’ve had issues in the past but I would say in the last couple years there hasn’t been that extensive of damage as far as having fixtures actually taken off the walls in the bathrooms,” he said.

But it doesn’t stop there. Tire tracks have been left behind in the grass, benches have been broken and the park’s sign was even destroyed and had to be fixed.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing. Salem Parks Department — it’s a wonderful parks facility — the city of Salem is just blessed with having such a nice parks facility,” Franks said.

Ramona Plegge is one of the people who uses the park often, she walks her dog there every day. She says she’s disappointed to see people damaging such a nice place for the community.

“A lot of people utilize this park. It’s just a few people that have no regard for other people’s property or something that’s given to us,” Plegge said.

Franks says they now have to use their own money to fix the park. He hopes someone will come forward with information on the vandals.

“If they did see something suspicious or obviously outright illegal that they report it,” he said.

Going forward, a large portion of the park will be under surveillance.

If you have any information you’re asked to call the Parks Department at 330-271-8913 to get ahold of Franks or to call the Salem Police Department at 330-337-7811.

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