New security measures coming to Chesterfield parks

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Thursday night a Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission will adopt new security measures to improve safety at Chesterfield parks. People were concerned after several crimes occurred last month at a trio of parks, including Rockwood.

Benita Fuentes and her daughters just wrapped a hike through Rockwood Park.

"I try to come like mornings and when there are a lot of people out," said Benita Fuentes.

She feels safer in a crowd after hearing about a shooting and racist graffiti at Rockwood Park last month.

"I worry about my girls," Fuentes said.

Chesterfield County Parks Director Mike Golden says Benita shouldn't worry.

"The parks really are a pretty safe place to go to," said Golden.

And after Thursday's advisory commission meeting parks will be even safer. Police are boosting patrols to all parks and changes are coming to basketball courts.

About half-a-dozen county parks have lighted basketball courts and some of them stay on as late at 10:30 p.m. But the Parks Department will now switch off all lights at 9:00 p.m. These five parks will be affected by the changes: Harrowgate, Iron Bridge, Huguenot, Points of Rock and Rockwood.

"We're looking at putting some security cameras in a location or two so it might discourage anybody from doing something they shouldn't be doing," said Golden.

Golden says there are 4-million park visitors each year and the best security measure is a watchful eye. Benita's got that and a cell phone ready, just in case.

"I have it here. I don't leave home without it," said Fuentes.

Beginning Friday all basketball court lights will switch off at 9:00 p.m. Police are already boosting patrols to parks and security cameras at Rockwood are up for debate Thursday night.

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