Although we’d all like to believe differently, park visitors can easily become victims of a violent crime at any given moment. It was only a few days ago that an open fire shooting occurred at Murray Park in Little Rock, AR. This after, just a week prior, ten year old Ja’Aliayah Hughes was killed in a shooting at Boyle Park in the same city.
While tragedies like this may not be frequent occurrences everywhere, public park and recreation facilities must prepare for the worst. While there may not be one all-encompassing solution for each park throughout the nation, following the simple steps listed below that may prove crucial to park administrators looking to amplify their park’s overall safety and security.
- Ensure that park lighting extends to every square foot of the park during the night. Archasol offers a variety of pathway lighting and bollard lighting solutions in a variety of sizes.
- Implement a “park-adoption” program wherein nearby residents and regular visitors will volunteer to patrol the area at night.
- Make sure to report any illegal or harmful actions that occur within the park to the Police.
- Enclose your park with a secure fence to make it easier to close off. Alternatively, you can use geo-fencing technology to create a virtual boundary to trigger a warning if a child has left a secure area.
- Install emergency call boxes, locater systems, phone charging stations or solar benches in various locations around the park. Access to Wi-Fi and phone charging ports allows park visitors to easily communicate with authorities at any time.
- Have background checks performed on all park employees.
- Make your opening and closing hours very clear. You can do this easily with illuminated sign options. This way, if a potential offender will have no excuse for being at the park after hours.
- Install high-definition, zero-light security cameras that are triggered by movement.
- Keep in contact with other park and recreation administrators to discuss what park security strategies work the best.
Crimes can happen anywhere and they may not always be 100% preventable. Even so, implementing these small changes could significantly reduce this risk and could even save someone’s life. Safety and security must be constantly revaluated in any public place and keeping up with the latest technology is just one aspect of this.