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Vandals strike Veterans Memorial Park again

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“This seems to have become a war,” said Rachel Mazza of the most recent vandalism to mar the Throggs Neck Girls Softball Field.

Over the past several years the field inside Veterans Memorial Park has been subjected to graffiti and litter. Finally Mazza, president of the TNGSL, thought she had won the battle when a security camera was installed recently.

The $ 5,000 camera, funded by Senator Jeff Klein, was installed this summer by the Department of Parks and Recreation and alerts people crossing its path after dark that a photo will be taken if they remain in the area.

Thought to be a big win for the league, vandalism seemed to cease after its installation. However, in the most disturbing act yet, on Thursday, September 24, vandals spray painted a swastika on the sidewalk along the park and placed graffiti outside the entrance and at various spots within, avoiding the area within the camera’s range.

About a week later, on the morning of Monday, October 5, Mazza spotted the TNGSL’s shed and new storage bin covered with graffiti.

Unfortunately any images from the camera, which are transmitted to a laptop that is reviewed by Parks and then sent over to the 45th Precinct, were not recovered.

A malfunction in the camera prevented the vandals from being identified, but Parks quickly removed the graffiti and is working with the camera’s manufacturer on the malfunction.

“It’s very disheartening that vandals continue to target Veterans Memorial Park. I installed the camera hoping to deter crime. Unfortunately, technology is not always dependable,” said Klein. “We need to repair the camera immediately and bring an end to the continuous vandalism in a park enjoyed by so many families in the community.”

According to Mazza, shoes were thrown towards the camera in an attempt to break the camera.

“This is like a declaration of war, so it’s definitely going to continue and they obviously have no regard for the camera or the community,” said Mazza. “I just want to put a face to this problem and have it stopped and have the culprits prosecuted. They have to learn a lesson.”

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group