The city of Richland experienced some vandalism in its park sometime between Sunday and Monday nights where the vandals made a mess in the bathrooms near the ball field.
Richland City Clerk Susan Alexander told the Daily Guide that vandalism in the bathrooms is an ongoing problem causing the city to keep the ones in the community building locked. The city hadn't been keeping the ball field bathrooms locked so that patrons of the park could have facilities they could use.
Alexander posted, on the city's Facebook page, "The park is there for ALL TO ENJOY, and I'm sure the people who did this have enjoyed the park at one time or another."
She said she felt it was "so sad that people think this is funny" and pointed out that it likely isn't funny to the person who has to clean it up or "is walking the track and doesn't have a bathroom to use."
Alexander went on to point out that the Richland Park Board is a volunteer organization that holds events for the community in the park and that whoever the vandal(s) were that did this most likely enjoyed one of those events or played on the playground equipment at some point in time.
The vandals threw toilet paper all around the bathroom and clogged the toilets up "with whatever they could find," Alexander said.
Richland is not alone in dealing with the problem of vandalism in its parks. Both Crocker and Waynesville have had issues in the past.
Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman posted a sympathetic response to the city of Richland's vandalism problem, "Dear Richland, I know your pain. It seems the nicer we try to make things, the worse they tear it up. And I do realize it's just a few disrespectful people. But here in Waynesville, and I'm sure in Richland too, we're not going to quit trying. I am continually telling people, if you see something, say something.... that would solve a lot of problems. And we also prosecute these people to the fullest extent. Usually that means their parents have to pay hundreds of dollars. Good luck and know that you have Partners in this shameful problem."
The city is taking the vandalism seriously and is reviewing camera footage from cameras that are placed throughout the park. The city also asks the community to come forward if they might know who did it or saw something.
Anonymous tips about the identity of the vandal(s) can be dropped in the night drop at City Hall or people can call City Hall at 573-765-4421 or the Richland Police Department at 573-765-4144.
Alexander posted on Facebook asking people to "get the word out that we will not stand still for this type of vandalism and will continue to search for those who did this! Someone will talk sooner or later."
Alexander told the Daily Guide that when the vandals are caught, the city is considering community service projects and other work that would benefit the city as a punishment.