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Help wanted in fight against vandals

Vandalism in county parks is peaking and staff are hoping an increase in community involvement will help bring down the number of incidents.

The Kitsap County Facilities, Parks and Recreation department needs to spend about $3,500 to replace the 18 windows at the Island Lake Community Center that were shot out with a bb or pellet gun on Nov. 18. Since then there has been a spike in vandalism to park property, mainly in South Kitsap, the Fairgrounds and at Island Lake, according to Brian Hauschel, parks maintenance supervisor.

“Right now we’re at the peak,” said Bev Reeves, maintenance and operations superintendent for the parks department.

Just at the Fairgrounds alone, windows have been broken, including dump truck windows, tires have been slashed, items from the bleachers have been stolen and trash cans have been destroyed. There also have been a few cases of someone doing “donuts” with their vehicle at the Fairgrounds as well as at Anderson Field.

“Vandalism in our parks seems to come in waves,” Hauschel said. “It seems to be a select group of individuals.”

Reeves adds that about 10 percent of the department’s yearly operating budget is spent on cleaning up vandalism.

“(Vandalism) is a community problem, it’s a crime against all of us. It seems like we take five steps forward then two steps back because every day is different,” she said, referring to the recent acts of vandalism which were found to be worse than initially thought.

“This is just malicious vandalism,

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