In response to recent complaints heard from community members concerning vandalism and juvenile problems in area parks, the Rushville Parks Department, in coordination with the City of Rushville, will host an informational meeting Wednesday. Organizers ask that those persons interested in becoming a park patrol member attend.

According to City Hall, the meeting will include registration at 6:30 p.m., and then a brief class at 7 p.m.

“The Rushville Police Department will host the class section of the meeting,” Carla Sharpe, City Hall representative, said.

The meeting will be held in Council Chambers, 270 W. 15th Street, Rushville.

The meeting is the second that will actually ask for those who have voiced their concern to sign up and become part of the citizen patrol. The parks department is hopeful that persons dressed in plain clothes and appearing to be enjoying the parks personally will act as a good set of eyes for the police department.

In recent weeks, the RPD and Rushville Parks Director Danny Mathews have seen an influx of calls concerning trouble at the local parks, including displays of disrespect, aggressiveness and vandalism.

“We know that not every single kid in the park is doing something illegal,” Mathews said, “but we have to address the problem of those few people that are destroying our facilities.”

In mid-October, the parks board discussed issues of liability and authority, and came to the common agreement that a Park Patrol can act as the eyes and ears of the parks, able to report suspicious activity to the police department with the hope that the unapproved behavior can be prevented.

Mathews is hopeful that the formation of such a patrol is going to help monitor those involved more closely.

“I think that once we put together a patrol next week, with a little training we can definitely do a thorough job of keeping our parks clean, safe and inviting for everyone in the community,” he said.

Mathews, the RPD and City Hall are urging all interested to attend; T-shirts will be handed out at the conclusion of the class.

Rushville Republican Staff Writer Starr Shuppert can be contacted at (765) 932-2222; at P.O. Box 189, Rushville, IN 46173; or at

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