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Mecklenburg County Parks are under the spotlight tonight. After a teenager was murdered in a Northeast Charlotte park back in July, County Commissioners requested officials from Parks and Recreations submit a report about safety. Parks officials are presenting their findings tonight at the Board of County Commissioners meeting.
Park officials say crime in the parks accounts for one percent of overall crimes in the county. Officials say they don't see a lot of violent crimes in the parks. Recently they're noticing an increase in thefts from cars.
Greg Clemmer, the Superintendent of Park Operations says "a lot of people do leave their purses, iPhones, iPads on front seats that's why we're getting cars broken into. That one thing is our biggest challenge right now."
Parks and Recreation say they will meet regularly with CMPD to track trends and get ahead of problems. They say they have security measures in place. Park Watch checks every park... including lighting to make sure there are no dark places. Even maintenance has a place in security. Workers clear away overgrowth so Park Watch and CMPD can have clear lines of sight.
The incident management unit - an all terrain vehicle - is part of a rapid response plan should emergency crews need to get around a park. According to Clemmer, "to have faster response time to people who are hurt, missing in our parks so we can react as fast as possible."