Public support has been requested to help end a rash of vandalism around the Jungle Jym at McMinnville Civic Center.
The area meant for the enjoyment of everyone in the community is being trashed by some.
“We’ve had an increase in vandalism over the last couple of weeks at the Jungle Jym and the restrooms,” said Parks and Recreation interim director Greg Wanamaker. “We really need the community’s help on this one.”
The most recent incident was discovered Monday. Employees found someone had broken into one restroom, which had been closed for the winter. Approximately $500 in damage was done.
Other incidents include the use of spray paint on walls, doors, in the Jungle Jym, and on the concessions/ maintenance building at Gilley Pool.
Neighbors have reported seeing people in the area at night. However, those calls have been made to the Civic Center the following day – not to 911 at the time of the incident.
“We have had people call us the next day and say we saw someone over there at night,” said Wanamaker. “We appreciate a call the following day, but call the police right then. That might help us catch who is doing this.”
Individuals may be hesitant to call 911 and report people at the Jungle Jym at night because they may not be doing anything wrong. However, Wanamaker says this is not the case.
“Use of the Jungle Jym is only permitted during daylight hours,” he said. “Anyone at the facility at night is in violation of city ordinance, regardless of the activity they are involved in.”
While the walking trail is well lit and open 24 hours, the Jungle Jym is not and the sign states it is closed after dark.
“If someone is over there at night, they need to be escorted off the premises,” said McMinnville Vice Mayor Everett Brock. “No one is supposed to be there at night. If we catch the ones responsible for the vandalism, we will prosecute.”
McMinnville Police Department will increase patrols in the area. Individuals found in the playground after dark will be told to leave and warned against returning at night.
Anyone seeing individuals in and around the Jungle Jym at night is encouraged to call 911. McMinnville officials will consider installing surveillance cameras.