Vandalism prompts increased patrols, conversation about park

Thousands expected at parks this weekend for soccer tournament.

Huber Heights police are stepping up patrols this Memorial Day weekend as families gather at parks.

The move follows vandalism this month at Huber Heights’ Thomas Cloud Park and Dayton’s Warrior Soccer Club.

The annual Warrior Classic Soccer Tournament for youth — held at sites including those two parks — draws approximately 30,000 people to the Dayton area for the annual Memorial Day weekend event.

Thomas Cloud Park’s new concessions building was damaged with a rock on May 20, said police Lt. Matt Dulaney.

“On the concession stand there are block windows,” Dulaney said Friday. “And through two of the little blocks, they threw some kind of rock into the bathroom and hit a mirror.”

A rock was recovered from the site, but Dulaney said there were no witnesses or suspects in the vandalism case that happened while the restrooms were open.

Dulaney said Dayton officers are investigating spray paint vandalism at nearby soccer fields across the Dayton-Huber Heights line at the Warrior Soccer Complex. In that case, vandals spray painted gripes about the cost of the facility, mistakenly thinking the privately-funded storage garage was a taxpayer-funded project.

Huber Heights city officials are working to prevent additional damage to Thomas Cloud Park after the vandalism. The damage was minor, but upsetting nonetheless for council members.

“It’s disappointing whenever there are capital improvements vandalized or torn up, destroyed, either public or private,” said Councilman Mark Campbell, who said he supported a suggestion by the mayor to look at ways to prevent more incidents.

Mayor Tom McMasters said he supports installing video surveillance in Thomas Cloud Park to protect the bathroom facility.

“We can’t put a nice facility in like that and have vandals,” McMasters said during a recent council meeting.

City Manager Rob Schommer told McMasters the city has already started conversations about ways to prevent such vandalism, including through video surveillance.

“The damage was done when the restrooms were open,” Schommer said. “We talked about having a very simple camera system that just shows the walkway to and from and some signage about the property surveillance.”

The new park concession stand was constructed after the original was destroyed by fire in 2011.

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