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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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Oregon has begun posting signs restricting hours at some parks to deter juvenile delinquency.

On March 21, Oregon City Council voted 5-2 against a curfew for minors. Members of block watch groups advocated the need for the curfew and met with city officials to make their case at two Safety Committee meetings. At the time, city officials announced plans to beef up road patrols in areas where block watch groups have complained about juvenile crime and to post signs that restrict attendance at some parks.

Police Chief Mike Navarre said he met with Assistant Chief Paul Magdich, Law Director Melissa Purpura, City Administrator Mike Beazley, and Joe Wasserman, director of the Recreation Department, to discuss which parks should receive the signs.

“We are going to post a sign `closed from dusk to dawn’ at the Hollydale triangle park,” said Navarre at a council meeting on May 2. “That was the original intent when this was first discussed at the first Safety Committee meeting for the curfew ordinance. We are also going to replace the sign that is currently posted at South Shore Park. Those are the only two signs that are going to be posted.”

Navarre said he would seek input from the road patrol to determine where more signs would be located in the future.

Councilwoman Sandy Bihn asked whether a sign would be posted at Adair Park.

“There’s no sign currently posted at Adair Park,” said Navarre. “That’s one of the locations that we’re going to visit and evaluate to see if there’s a need. We really want to get input from our road patrol’s midnight shift because they have a better handle on where this is going to be needed. Any of those sites are potential possibilities. We just didn’t feel it was prudent to move too quickly and post signs at any of those additional locations at this time.”

Neighborhoods off Starr, Navarre, Woodville, Wheeling, Pickle and Coy, have complained about juveniles loitering, ransacking vehicles, committing theft and vandalism, fighting, trespassing, littering, congregating on street corners, parks and yards, egging vehicles and houses, and toilet papering.

Navarre said Magdich had suggested using an unmarked car at some locations to help determine the need for more signs.

“We can put out an unmarked car once it gets a little bit warmer, to go around and evaluate all the parks to see if there’s a greater need. We don’t want to move too quickly on this. We want to move cautiously,” said Navarre.

Block watch groups, dissatisfied that council voted against the curfew, is looking at circulating petitions to get a curfew on the November ballot so the public can decide the issue.

 

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