The city of Northglenn will hire two seasonal park rangers to patrol the Don Anema Memorial Skatepark with the hopes it will alleviate concerns about criminal activities happening in that area.
Last year the city took safety measures to try and reduce issues coming out of the southeastern section of E.B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park, but the residents of the Village Greens neighborhood are still voicing concerns about drug use, trespassing and noise.
City Council discussed additional options to help the neighborhood feel safer during its Nov. 4 study session.
City staff recommended hiring two park rangers, to work 40 hours per week from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which will cost about $15,000 annually.
“We feel that not only would they be able to patrol the area where the skate park is, and therefore, have a presence continually during that time, but also they could patrol other parts of the park as well,” City Manager John Pick said. “They wouldn’t necessarily have to be there all the time. They could do other activities— basic park maintenance type of things. At a reasonable price.”
Councilwoman Leslie Carrico, Ward II, said she supported hiring the rangers, saying they were at lower wages than the police and that it should raise the confidence level of the neighborhood.
“We definitely have people that are scared that live right behind there that feel we impacted their lives by putting the skate park right there,” she said.
Police Chief Jim May said that he thought the skate park was in a bad location, and he does not want to see anyone get up hurt because of the element that has been going over there.
“And it’s not just the skate park,” he said, “we have some areas outside there that are problem locations that we’re dealing with that we want to take care of, too.”
Mayor Joyce Downing added, “That has always been an area we had trouble with, this is definitely not something new.”
The other option staff offered instead of the rangers was installing an iron fence between the skate park and the neighborhood, and/or along the north and south edges. Estimated cost for the iron fencing, which would be preferred over wood because of graffiti, would be between $57,000 and $130,000.
Council addressed the same concerns last year by increasing police patrol, installing additional signage, running irrigation adjacent to the skate park at night, establishing a parental accountability policy (which makes a parent equally responsible for criminal violations their minor children are charged with) and setting a new closing time for the entire park at 10 p.m.