AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On Saturday night, the splash pad at Medical Center Park was vandalized along with other amenities in the park, according to Amarillo Parks and Recreation.
Kristen Wolbach, coordinator of PR and programs for Amarillo Parks and Recreation said the splash pad is back to working order except for a few pieces that had to be removed.
Wolbach said a splash bucket was completely broken and other items from the splash pad were stolen and removed from their fixtures, resulting in $25,000 in damage.
Officials added there was also extensive damage to other areas of the park, not just the splash pad area, such as destroyed benches.
Corporal Jeb Hilton with the Amarillo Police Department said that these sorts of crimes do seem to pick up during the summer months.
Cpl. Hilton said that Amarillo parks do have a curfew from midnight to 6 AM and are closed to make sure that things like this don’t happen.
“We do tend to see a few more vandalisms and things of that nature when we are having spring break, summer, and some of those other holidays from school,” said Cpl. Hilton.
Mayor Ginger Nelson added in the past few years the city has seen an increase in vandalism in city parks.
“That kind of vandalism is so destructive and the cost of repairing it lands on the taxpayers, so it is so frustrating to me that we don’t within our community and it’s always a few bad apples, but we need to value our park system,” said Mayor Nelson.
Cpl. Hilton added if time allows, officers on the midnight shift will patrol the parks to make sure people aren’t there after hours.
Wolbach said what makes this especially heartbreaking is that the Medi Park splash pad is a part of an accessible park that can be used by people with disabilities.
Wolbach said there is no timeline right now on when the splash pad will completely fixed.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Amarillo Police Department at 806-378-3038.