The Ashland City police department is tightening supervision of the town’s youth. KBIA’s Anna Burkart reports people under the age of 18 are no longer permitted to be in the Ashland City Park without adult supervision.
The new restriction in Ashland is in response to recent behavior by some of the local middle school and high school-aged students. Ashland police chief Anthony Consiglio says there have been incidents including lewd behavior, vandalism, and threats to parents with young children.
“The problem is this measure that we put into place right now was the final stage We have tried to talk to them. We have come down here and sat with them. I have put my officers in regular clothes to try to catch them, you know, in doing stuff they are not supposed to be doing.”
Southern Boone Middle School cross country coach Chris Drury was concerned by the inapropriate language he’s heard screamed by this group while his cross country team practices in the park.
“It made me think it’s right here by the play ground. I wouldn’t want to take my son to the playground. I mean you want to feel comfortable. Not only do I not want him to hear those words but I don’t want to hear them myself.
Before the new rules, the park was off limits to juveniles after dark.
Anthony Walston, part of a group of admittedly under age high school students present at the park, says taking the park, a well invested asset of the community, away from all juveniles was not the solution.
“Basically we have nothing better to do in this small town. There’s nothing better to do except for this one little park that gives us some freedom from everything else and they take that away. They can’t sit down here and track out the some people that make it bad for everyone. They’re lazy about that. So they just ban everyone.”
There is no set end to the new rule, but Chief Consiglio says it is temporary.