Ozark Looking to Combat vandalism at City Parks

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Ozark Police say they've had enough. Within the last couple of months, police and park officials say vandalism has risen, costing the city a lot of money, and that has to stop.

Police say someone took a hand saw and cut down a memorial tree that was dedicated to a fallen deputy.

"It's a sad day that it's come to that, but we’re at that. This man gave his life and services to his community and this is absolutely disrespectful," said Ozark Police Chief Tony Spivey.

However, that's not the only vandalism in the city.

Parks and Recreation leaders say most of the trash occurs in local parks, with used bottle rockets, beer bottles and graffiti on the bathroom wall, showing no love at all.

Leaders are now going to reduce the park hours at Oben Everett Park to sunset and arrest anyone there after.

"I think people have bought all the spray paint in town and they're painting everything; just destroying playground equipment, bathroom facilities. It's just been horrible, lately," says Parks and Recreation Director Mickey Snell.

This will be the only park that closes at sunset. For now, the others will remain open until 10PM unless there's a recreation event.

"We've talked to a lot of the people that live on the street close by the park. They have concerns about the people hanging around the park after dark; things going on in the park. So, I think for the most part, the community is going to support what we're doing because it's going to make their parks better and their community better," says Snell.

No trespassing signs will be posted and law enforcement officials plan to enforce the hours immediately.

Park leaders say they hope reducing and enforcing park hours will eliminate the vandalism.

They say if this doesn't work, more drastic measures could be taken.

City leaders say the majority of the vandalism occurs during weekends and on holidays.