SPOKANE Wash.-- The City of Spokane amped up security at the monthly cost of $1,000 to discourage vandalism and make visitors feel safe in Riverfront park during the summer of 2014. City Leaders said graffiti and vandalism typically increase during the warm summer months.
An employee at the Hawaiian Shaved Ice hutt in Riverfront park said she has seen it all.
“I’ve personally seen fights in front of my hutt, so I know it can get crazy,” said employee Cynthia Gardner. “In the past people have taken, destroyed it, and used it to break into the carousel. So, with that extra security I don’t think they’ll want to take it down as much.”
City leaders said security officers will begin patrolling the park 24-hours a day. Security officers, Chris Spring and Mark Whipple, said they noticed an increase in crime, especially around 2 a.m. when their previous shifts ended. They will now patrol the park in three, separate, 12-hour shifts for the rest of the summer.
City Council members said they hoped the extra patrols would offset the additional expenses by saving the City the cost of cleaning-up graffiti and vandalism.
Gardner said the extra patrols made her job less stressful.
“They are always visible,” Gardner said. “I see them every day.”
Although graffiti and vandalism are a weekly concern in Riverfront Park, there have been three thefts, two robberies and no rape incidents in the past year according to the Spokane Police Department.