(SALEM) - CenterPeace, a park in Salem at the site of the old cheese plant on South Main Street, may be closed during certain hours as city officials look for a way to curb vandalism.
Marcia Clark of the Leader-Democrat reports that Salem Mayor David Bower reported that vandals recently turned over a stone bench, breaking it and drove a vehicle onto the concrete slab.
Police Chief Troy Merry says police are working to identify the responsible party. He mentioned that CenterPeace has become a popular place for people to gather but stressed the need for using the area in a responsible manner.
Merry also says vandals damage a canopy and playground equipment. He mentioned a problem with littering, even though a trash cans in the park.
Merry asked the Board of Works to possibly limit the hours the park is open that way police could charge people with trespass.
Merry suggested closing the park at 11 p.m. The board of works took the matter under advisement.
Merry said Wednesday that installing video cameras is being discussed. Cameras, monitored by city dispatchers, have been installed at some of the city's other parks and have helped law enforcement officials identify vandals.
He also said that there will be extra patrols in the area. Merry is warning those who are doing the damage it will not be tolerated and anyone seeing vandalism should call police.
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