Clovis PD seeks to expand park ordinance

FRESNO, Calif.

The smell of burnt rubber still wafts through a Clovis playground which vandals torched a week ago.

Clovis Police said criminal activity and nuisance behavior such as loud music has increased in local parks.

The department wants to expand upon an ordinance which helped remove troublemakers from Letterman Park.

Public Information Officer Janet Stoll-Lee said, "Families were actually complaining that taking their kids there was a problem because of some of the activity. There was even fear and intimidation."

Skaters enjoy trying new tricks at Letterman Park. But in 2008, police and parks and rec personnel began suspending visitors who cause trouble here.

Stoll-Lee explained, "Actually you can suspend a person from the park for a given period of time, up to one year depending on what the activity is and they want to have this applicable at all parks."

The ordinance now goes before the Clovis City Council. Mayor Pro Tem Lynne Ashbeck said expanding the rules to other parks makes sense. She said, "It's really just to ensure our parks stay safe for families. We have seen increased gang activity, increased nuisance kind of behavior and we don't tolerate that in Clovis."

Ashbeck said city officials considered closing Letterman Park before police began its crackdown.

Lisa Jackson believes other parks could benefit from an expanded ordinance. Jackson said, "I actually welcome their presence. The police in Clovis are fairly cool. They're understanding. They know people have fallen on hard times. Other people are just out there with their kids or their dogs, whatever."

The Clovis City Council won't vote on the park ordinance for another month.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.