City Parks Director Steve Faber said he hopes citizens continue keeping watch over the parks, whether they're just driving by or using the parks and all they have to offer.
During the city Parks Commission meeting on Wednesday, he told how some residents called about a recent fence theft at Waterworth Memorial Park.
"People are paying attention and that's what we need," he said.
Faber did say he hopes people are accurate with their reports and not stereotyping people when they call about something they see, but he added it's better to call and find out later that it's a mistake than to not call at all.
"If you see something that looks unusual or seems out of line, call the police," he said.
Parks officials have been urging citizens to be proactive about what they see happening and report it to the authorities as part of an effort to curb vandalism, drug sales and other illegal or improper activities in the parks. A meeting was also held with police Chief Bob Floor to ask what they could do, with Floor noting the police are trying to keep an extra eye on the parks. They also asked the Salem-Perry Township Crime Watch volunteer organization to help out with patrols in the parks.
Parks Foreman Jim Grimm told commissioners he had to call the police a couple days ago for something at one of the parks and they responded right away.
"I appreciate their services. I just think they do an outstanding job," he said.
In other business, Faber reminded area residents the last day of operation for Salem Lake on Gamble Road this year is Sunday and said people have been catching some fish.
"If you haven't been out to drown any worms, now would be the time to do it," he said.
Grimm reported his crew is working on general maintenance of the grounds and keeping the appearance up of the parks, getting ready for fall. He said the leaf equipment is geared up and ready to go.
Parks Commissioner Terry Hoopes asked if they have a game plan for leaves and Grimm said they do, using two blowers to blow leaves to the nearest parking lot or driveway and then using the vacuum to suck them up. Faber said the vacuum has been a big asset and moving the leaves to the driveways makes it easier to clean them up. Grimm said they also create large piles that they can then push to the driveways.
"I'm just impressed that we're able to keep up with the leaves," Hoopes said.
The commission approved expenditures of $5,720 for the month through Wednesday.
The commission entered into executive session for personnel, with no action taken.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org