LAKE STEVENS, Wash – No further acts of vandalism after security cameras installed at Davies Beach in Lake Stevens on June 4, according to Deputy Chief Jeffrey Beazizo. Later this month security cameras are planned to be installed in North Cove and Frontier Heights.
Over the past few months, the city reported vandalism that has cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, according to Mayor Brett Gailey, delaying the opening of projects including the playground area of North Cove Park. Instances of destruction to these facilities, the Mayor reports, have been occurring as often as “every other day.”
“It’s super frustrating as a mayor to have to deal with trying to open great parks for our community and not getting them open on time because we’re dealing with vandalism and graffiti issues,” Gailey said.
At Lundeen Park, bathrooms have been closed due to graffiti, requiring a fourth cleaning in only a couple months.
In February, King 5 reported two young adults were involved in defacing Lake Stevens parks and businesses, the removal of which resulted in a full day of work and over $800 in cleanup fees. They were identified when one of the suspects used a credit card in his name at a local business. It is not clear whether these individuals were linked to the more recent events and there are no suspects; with the installation of security cameras the city hopes that could change.
“This is especially unfortunate in the summer months when park usage by our residents is the highest. It’s also disheartening for our employees who have put in long hours to create beautiful open spaces for the community to enjoy only to see that work destroyed,” Gailey said.
The mayor sent out a memo on June 9 asking help from community volunteers for cleanup as well as small projects involving planting and weeding with paid seasonal positions also available.
“Over the past few weeks, several facilities have been vandalized. Damages are running into the tens of thousands, and in some cases, require park closures until repair work can be done to make them safe again,” Gailey said in his memo.
The security cameras were funded with $35,000 the city budgeted in 2020 to improve facilities and parks with more planned on the way.
“The city has invested a lot of money to improve our facilities and parks. To protect these investments and increase public safety at our facilities, security cameras are being deployed to aid in this process,” Jeffrey Beazizo, Deputy Chief of Lake Stevens Police Department, told the Lynnwood Times.
Beazizo stated the Lake Stevens Police Department plans to prevent further instances of vandalism to parks with proactive enforcement and asking citizens to call 911 if they witness any incidents.
“[We hope] to provide a tool for investigative purposes only for incidences surrounding public safety issues and property damages at our facilities and as a deterrent for stated activities,” Beazizo told the Lynnwood Times.