MOUNT VERNON — The day after Mount Vernon celebrated the holiday season with the lighting of Public Square, vandalism was discovered.
“It’s rare for them to vandalize the square the way it did,” said Scott Zimmerman, assistant foreman for the parks department. “It was a little unique because it looked like a sharp edge of something was used to chop on the trees, and they also stomped one of our small bushes we put it. It just looked like they took their foot and stomped down the middle of it.”
Violators have damaged city property before but usually not on Public Square. In the uncommon cases where this has occurred, Zimmerman said the perpetrator might trouble the Nativity scene or the lights.
However, most incidents of vandalism occur in the parks, he said.
“It’s usually limited to the parks ... but even the parks have been getting worse and worse. They knocked all the windows down in the bathrooms out at Memorial Park a day before Thanksgiving,” he said. “And two days prior to that they busted the security lights at Phillips Park. We do see some vandalism throughout the year but not to the extent I’ve seen this month.”
The city has tried to raise security in these areas to prevent further vandalism, but Zimmerman said it can be difficult this time of year when not many people are out utilizing these areas.
“When we do have vandalism problems, I would ask the police department if they would increase the patrol in the areas that are being affected,” he said.
Zimmerman encourages residents to keep watch and if they see anything suspicious to contact the Mount Vernon Police Department or city officials.
“I thank all those who appreciate the parks and the square but I also implore everyone to keep their eyes open,” he said.