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Published August 21, 2012, 08:15 PM

Valley City Police stepping up patrols in local parks

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) -- Police in Valley City are stepping up their night patrols following reports of suspicious activities at local parks. Incidents of vandalism, fires, and other activities have gone up at Chautauqua and City Parks.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) -- Police in Valley City are stepping up their night patrols following reports of suspicious activities at local parks.

Incidents of vandalism, fires, and other activities have gone up at Chautauqua and City Parks.

Erika Calkins is a teacher at the Valley City Children's Center. About twice a week, they bring the kids down to City Park to play. Sometimes though, they worry about graffiti on the equipment.

Erika Calkins - Valley City Children's Center: "You see new stuff every day. I mean, but we try to ignore it. And we try not to let it bother the kids, either."

Police are doing extra patrols in some of the city's parks as incidents of vandalism have picked up. Recently, a city-owned dumpster and garbage can at Chautauqua Park were set on fire. The garbage can was a complete loss, costing the city about $700.

Cody Thibert - Valley City Police Department: "I think it's just getting to the end of summer and the kids are getting anxious, maybe."

There have also been reports of drinking and possible drug activity. Both parks are supposed to be off-limits during the night, which is when police think these activities are happening. So, they're taking extra trips through the park during patrol, but say they could use a little help from the public.

Cody Thibert: "If they see any kind of suspicious activities, they need to call. We can't be everywhere."

Calkins says she hopes the extra patrols help.

Erika Calkins: "It gives a little peace of mind to me that I won't have to worry about you know, swear words over here on the garbage can, on the slide, You know, things we don't want to see, have our kids play with around the park when we're here."

Anyone who sees suspicious activity can report it to Valley City Police at 701-845-3110.

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