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Burpee Park in the Borough's Crosshairs

Borough officials and police will return to stricter monitoring of the park after dark.

By day, Burpee Park is a haven for families.

Mothers chat while toddlers and preschoolers race around.

On summer afternoons, kids and parents gather for .

And last year, before the 9/11 Heroes Run, hundreds of people packed the park for on Sept. 11 and in the wars thereafter.

By night, it can be a different story.

People who live near the park, or along the streets that lead to it, say it becomes a refuge for teens and young adults to engage in behavior of a less than savory nature.

"Last First Friday, I couldn’t help but hearing a group of teens screeching about having sex on the merry go round," Oakland Avenue resident Gary Frazier told borough council members on Tuesday during a meeting about the monthly event.

Another neighbor, Norma Hill, who lives directly across from the park, echoed those concerns.

"There are always teenagers at Burpee Park, but on First Friday, there are more," Hill said.

The borough's police log bears that out, with several instances of and being in the park after hours.

The issues aren't new, as longtime residents like Doreen Stratton can attest.

"My family’s been here for over 100 years; I grew up catty corner to the playground. I know that when your hormones are raging, the playground was the place to go," Stratton said.

Borough officials know the park is an attractive hangout - in part, because the police and borough officials stepped up patrols of parks near the center of town, including the one at .

"It has become the popular place to go," borough  manager John Davis said Tuesday. "It’s always been a difficult park (to monitor). It’s not lit, in deference to residents."

A police officer is stationed at Burpee Park after dark on First Friday, Davis said, but occasionally must be called away to emergency calls.

As the weather warms up and lures people back outside to congregate, borough officials said they will increase patrols of the park.

"There will be police officers in that park," Davis said. "It’s closed after dusk. Anyone who’s in that park after dusk, they are not allowed to be there."

neighbor April 12, 2012 at 04:47 PM
It's not only at night.... when the park is not crowded with little children - they are there!!! My 3 and 1 year olds had to hear their mouths and watch them take over the round about and run all over the 2-5 year old jungle gym. Scary..... I called the police
Sarah Larson (Editor) April 13, 2012 at 12:23 AM
That's exactly what the borough wants you to do - call the police. Little kids shouldn't have to be exposed to that kind of language. And it's such a beautiful park! Neighbors like you banding together can keep it that way.
Bill Murphy April 13, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Was the language directed towards you and your children? or were they just being teenagers, bored and stupid? if so then why call the police? Why not just ask them politly to not speak that way in front of you and your kids? Why waste taxpayer money and time on calling the police just because you find another persons language offensive? I have found it works better if I talk to the teen and ask them not to speak like that in front of my kids. We enjoy that park weekly and have never had an issue with any teen being disrespectful of me or my children. If more people just aproached these kids and treated them like young adults they would be more receptive to being repectful around children and adults than just being chased away by the police.

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