He says police patrol the area, but they can’t be there all the time.
Frederick, Md (KM). Drug deals, drug overdoses, sexual activity, nudity, and urinating, defecating and vomiting under the pavilion and other locations have been problems for Mullinex Park and its neighbors. But they are being addressed, according to Frederick Mayor Randy McClement.
Speaking Monday on WFMD’s “Morning News Express with Bob Miller,” the Mayor responded to the question of whether the police conduct patrols of the area. “They go up there. They do patrols up there. As soon as they go up there, the people who are concerned, move,” he said. “But the police can’t stay there 24-hours a day. We don’t have unlimited manpower to set somebody there 24-hours a day, seven days a way. It just doesn’t work. No city has that.”
He also said the city’s Parks and Recreation Department keeps watch on the park as well. “We have two people dedicated to Carroll Creek. They keep an eye on it. As far as trash is concerned, they try to keep up with it. So we’re actively doing things,” McClement says.
The calls for service have increased in the park over the years. In 2010, police took 140 calls for Mullinex Park. Last year, it went up to 587. From May 1st, 2016 to 31st, 2017, Frederick Police received 945 complaints. Those statistics come from the Frederick Extra.
Recently, about eight people were taken to the hospital from Mullinex Park for drug overdoses.
Mayor McClement says he’s trying to “activate” Mullinex Park so that there are plenty of activities at that site which would discourage the “unsavory'” characters from showing up. “We’ve got Parks and Rec looking at things to keep fun activities in there. Frederick Community Action Agency–actually starting today (Mon., June 12th)–are going to do their lunch program. So everyday at noon, Monday through Friday, the lunch program will come in there for the kids that need it.”
He also says efforts will be made to keep the park clean. “We’re going to make sure that Mike Spurrier has power washing equipment. So he’s goes in in the morning, and power washes the pavilion area. And then he’s done, he’s going power wash it again to make sure it stays clean because that was one of the concerns….it’s always getting dirty,” says McClement. Mike Spurrier is the Director of the Frederick Community Action Agency.
The Mayor also says other measures are being taken to protect the park.. “We raised up the limbs of the trees so there’s more visibility. We’ve put in new playground equipment. We do our best to keep that park clean with power washing and stuff. But we can’t keep people from sitting there,” he says.
McClement says the city can’t use its loitering ordinances to keep “unsavory” people out of the parks. “Loitering laws–not just ours, throughout the whole country–have been found to be unenforceable by the courts. They won’t do it it. So we can’t use loitering for it,” he says.
All and all, it comes down to people’s upbringing, he says. “You wish you could legislate respect,” the Mayor says. “But you can’t. You can’t say ‘you have to respectful.'”
By Kevin McManus