A notable increase in vandalism has prompted St. Joseph County Parks and Recreation officials to beef up security at many of its parks.
Agency director Jaymes MacDonald said the situation has been ongoing for more than a year but spiked in recent months. So much so, in fact, MacDonald has had to pull money from his budget to secure high-resolution security cameras and automatic door locks for bathrooms. The locks can be programmed to lock and unlock at specific times.
He said it will cost about $3,000 to outfit most of the agency’s 10 parks with cameras and timed door-locks.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department has offered its assistance by providing community service officers and other resources, MacDonald said.
MacDonald said 126-acre Plumb Lake County Park in Burr Oak Township has seen the greatest number of problems.