Vandals at Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park have struck again.
For the second time since a security camera was installed at the park on behalf of the Throggs Neck Girls Softball League, a shed used by the league was tagged with graffiti.
A neighbor walking his dog past the park’s softball field on the morning of Wednesday, December 9 noticed the graffiti and notified TNGSL president Rachel Mazza. Mazza immediately asked the Parks Department to remove the eyesore. It was painted over the next day.
The camera failed to record the vandals although it had appeared to function properly when last tested, a Parks Department spokeswoman said. The camera has been tested regularly since the shed was tagged on Monday, October 5. In that case, the camera, installed this summer and sponsored by Senator Jeff Klein, malfunctioned and failed to record the vandals. In October, the Parks Department worked with the camera’s manufacturer to resolve the problem.
The October 5 and December 9 crimes aside, the camera has reduced vandalism at the park, Mazza said. Sooner or later, the vandals will be caught, she added.
“We haven’t caught them yet and it’s twice since we had the camera but we can only hope [we will] and we are doing the best we can,” Mazza said. “[Vandalism] is definitely down and the camera is a deterrent.”
Klein’s representatives met with Parks Department officials on Tuesday, December 15 to discuss the matter.
“The continued vandalism of the tool shed at Bicentennial Veterans Park has not only created an unpleasant and unnecessary eye-sore for the players, coaches and families of the Throggs Neck Girls Softball League but has also raised safety concerns,” Klein said.
Meanwhile, the Throgs Neck Little League has begun to install security cameras at its fields, in response to graffiti tagged on the backsides of sponsor signs, league treasurer Frank Eisele said. Eisele hopes that the cameras, paid for by the league, will send a message to vandals.
“We will prosecute,” he said. “We won’t fool around.”
Reach reporter Amanda Marinaccio at 718 742-3394 or firstname.lastname@example.org