Friday, July 26, 2013

Unsupervised skatepark vandalized By Michelle Libby

As July 1, 2013, the Windham skatepark no longer was supervised. The Windham Town Council voted to no longer pay to have someone on site and allow the teens who use the park to police themselves.

This past week, the DARE concessions trailer was broken into and $300 was stolen, and in another incident the storage shed was also broken into and two skateboards, bought with a PEP grant, were taken.

Over the weekend, more damage was done to the park including damage to signs, ramps, a basketball hoop and trash was left all over the area, according to town manager Tony Plante during his report to the Windham Town Council Tuesday night.

“I’d say this is really discouraging and disappointing to see how little respect somebody has for community assets,” said Plante.

The no bikes sign was torn down and the no music sign was bent in half to hide the words. “The activity I’ve seen at the park (since July 1) has mostly been bikes,” Plante said. Donated bike ramps that were stored on the outskirts of the park were brought into the park.

“The park is designed for skateboards, it was not designed for bikes,” Plante said. “Very early on we learned bikes and boards don’t mix, so we limited it to skateboards and skates.”

In addition to the litter and vandalism, whoever was doing the damage also turned on the lights by breaking into the electrical panel inside the shed.
Plante said that the town is having the electrical service disconnected and the concession trailer has been removed from the site.
“We are doing what we can to oversee it and clean it up. This is still a work in progress,” said Plante.

“Obviously we thought it would police itself,” said councilor David Nadeau. Councilor Tom Gleason spent many hours taking notes of who used the skatepark. He said that many who used the park were in their mid-20s and were from Portland.

“I had a feeling this was going to happen,” said councilor Dennis Welch.
“The council made a leap of faith and trusted that people would be respectful,” said Plante. “If they are from Windham, they should be deeply ashamed of themselves.”

“If you don’t respect it, it won’t be there,” said councilor Scott Hayman.
According to police, the matter is still under investigation and they could not comment.


  1. “I’d say this is really discouraging and disappointing to see how little respect somebody has for community assets,” said Plante.

    Yeah, well, every town has its scum. How is vandalism surprising? I read this article and all I see is a bunch of lip service. "They should be ashamed," "If you don't respect it, it won't be there." No shite, Sherlock. Where are the solutions? Did anyone even think of CCTV and have it monitored by public safety?

    Kids don't raise themselves. They need guidance. They need supervision.

    The chances of the coppers catching these kids is slim, unless idiot posts something on YouTube or FB, or someone rats out their buddies, this investigation will go nowhere.

  2. Unfortunately it is the price of consolidation of communication centers. The skate park could have been part of the cameras that provide surveilance for the police department since it is adjacent to the park. I'm not saying that communications officers have ample time to stare at a monitor continuously, but it would have been on tape and with that amount of damage the culprits probably would have been noticed by communications officers. The police officers are generally not in the station unless they have an arrest which their attention is and should be, focused on the arrestee. Police departments were able to apply for grants for security cameras and monitors after 9/11. It's disheartening to hear of the destruction that was caused.

  3. They built the skate park for people who have already demonstrated a lack of respect for other people's property.
    Why are the authorities now surprised that the skaters, given the chance, will treat the park like they treat the rest of the city.


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