VIDEO: Police Trying to Clean Up Waltman Park in MillvillePosted:
MILLVILLE - Between recent assaults and robberies, and the discovery of hypodermic needles at Waltman Park, residents are questioning how clean and safe the community really is.
"I know that they have some issues in the area anyway, and I know we’ve come here before with the kids, you know, and just besides the graffiti, we’ve found some interesting things in the park. So it is something to be concerned about," said Erin Maines of Millville.
Police said there’s also been a surge of crime taking place at Waltman Park after hours, when technically it’s illegal to even be on the park’s premises.
“At nighttime it’s a different story,” said Marshall Carter of Millville.
Even with the recent string of robberies and assaults, parents we talked to say they have no hesitation bringing their kids here during daytime hours when the park is open.
“No, no, I can’t say I’ve ever had any cause for concerns," said Jamie White of Millville. "We usually come here during the day.”
“Obviously we’re here today, so I hope that doesn’t change. I would be concerned for any of the people walking here after dark, but other than that, I hope that doesn’t come into the daytime," said Erin Maines.
Millville Police Captain, Jody Farabella, said that measures have been taken to ensure parkgoers’ safety, with additional patrols being stationed in the park and on High Street. Farabella also urges residents to take a proactive role and report any suspicious activity.
“We’re doing everything we possibly can, but the biggest thing is, with the city, and people out there, if they see something, and it appears to be a crime, or it appears to be panhandling or something like that, don’t wait ‘til a commission meeting," said Farabella. "Notify police immediately so that that way we can go out there and act.”
In addition to the police force, community organizations like Millville’s Crime Watch Unit are working to clean up the park, as well as get community members involved. To find out how to get involved, attend the Peace in the City meeting on Thursday, July 16th at 6 p.m. held at 221 East Broad Street.
SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.