Volunteers repair, clean up children’s Safety Village

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Volunteers clean up Life Enrichment site hit by vandals

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATE @ 6:55 p.m. (June 10): As many as 30 volunteers worked in a heavy rain to repair and clean up damage vandals inflicted on property at the Life Enrichment Center's MAK Town Safety Village.

The damage was done Monday evening — just a week before the anticipated seasonal opening of the village, 425 N. Findlay St. It’s a mock town used to teach children about road safety.

“It was a great day for the community and for law enforcement,” said Dyton police Maj. Brian Johns said. “Everybody was out in the rain working hard.”

Police officers were joined by community volunteers, 10 Lowe’s employees, a work crew escorted by Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies, a fire chief and a judge for about three hours.

They used equipment provided by Lowe’s to add planter boxes and boom barriers — bars used to block road traffic for passing trains. They also trimmed back brush because the vandals took advantage of heavy brush to hide from surveillance cameras when they smashed windows, broke flag and light poles and leveled mock buildings.

Johns said he received a call from a community member offering to donate money to help pay for the village’s repairs.

The police suspect at least three vandals and some may be juvenile based on evidence that includes fingerprints, a size small camouflage sweatshirt and Bengals hat. Two red and black go karts are missing, too.

Surveillance cameras at the center will be improved. A cash reward is being offered as well.

If you have any information about the incident that could help police, you are asked to call Dayton police at 937-222-COPS or Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 937-222-STOP.

— By Tali Hunt, Staff Writer

UPDATE @ 5:59 a.m. (June 10): Volunteers from the Dayton Police Department will lead and participate in repairs and clean-up of the recently vandalized Life Enrichment Center MAK Town Safety Village, 425 N. Findlay Street.

The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. today. Community volunteers are welcome to join in.

Volunteers should park in the Life Enrichment Center’s rear parking lot and bring work gloves, brooms, tools, etc.

For more information, call 937-333-7446.

INITIAL REPORT (6/7)

Maj. Brian Johns with the Dayton Police Department said the juveniles who committed the “senseless” crime should turn themselves in.

“The kids know they did it. I’m sure they’re bragging about it,” Johns said. “If you do something like this, you have more issues in your life than most people know. To destroy somebody’s property that kids use, it’s just senseless.”

Johns said the village was scheduled to open this coming Monday. But around 7:30 p.m. Monday, three juveniles — “two fairly small, one tall,” he said — destroyed the entire village.

Fingerprints and clothing — a camouflage sweatshirt and Bengals hat — were left behind, and there is surveillance video. Johns said at least two red and black go karts are missing.

If you have any information, Johns said to call 222-STOP or 333-7440.

The damage left by the vandals includes busted windows, broken flag/light poles and leveled mock buildings.

Safety Village is a mock town that is used to teach road safety to young children.

The town was created with the help of a grant from the Mark A. Kreusch Memorial Fund and donations from the city, including signs, a fire hydrant and parking meters, according to the center's website.

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