Community Insight: Crack down on skaters at memorial

Skateboarders are shown at the Veterans Memorial Building on a recent night.

When it comes to skateboarders abusing the Veterans Memorial Building property, enough is enough.
It is ludicrous that skaters over the years have continually flocked to the memorial property—which honors fallen soldiers—without a sufficient deterrent to keep them away.
Ever since the city spent more than $4 million to renovate the property more than a decade ago, skateboarders have been drawn to the courtyard and its abundance of cement stairs and benches conducive to doing skating tricks. They have blatantly disregarded or disrespected the publicly owned memorial property. In doing so, they are disrespecting those who sacrificed their lives for the country, along with their families and friends and anyone else offended by abuse of such a property.
Instead of showing respect for the memorial—undergoing another major renovation led by local veterans groups—the skaters often cuss at anyone who questions their use of the property and they persistently show up again and again despite pleas to stay away.
After all these years, the only way to keep them away at this point is for the police department to toughen enforcement. It is a good sign that Chief David Westrick is pro-veteran and has vowed to keep officers on notice about skaters illegally using the veterans building property.
Warning skaters, and ticketing them if they don’t listen, is the only way to preserve this memorial and what it stands for to local residents.

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