SHELBYVILLE, Ind. — Officials at the Shelbyville Parks Department said vandalism has always been an issue, but in the last year it has gotten out of hand.
Within the past few weeks, the department said vandals ripped a door frame out of the buildings foundation and yanked partitions out of wall actually knocking the buildings foundation loose.
“They actually destroyed the block so now you have to go in and cut out the block and start all new block so I’m waiting but I’m guessing that’s probably gonna be in the tens of thousands of dollars,” maintenance director Chris Stephens said.
Stephens said he noticed the issue getting worse this past spring and ever since then he said the parks have been vandalized almost daily.
“Especially with the TicTok challenges that were out destroying public restrooms, destroying public property,” Stephens said. “Just about every single bathroom or facility in every single park got some type of vandalism daily.”
Photos provided by the department show toilets and sinks smashed, toilet paper holders torn from the wall and some even went as far as spraying fake blood on the walls.
“We have cameras set up a time on the parks most of the time,” Executive Director Rob Van Till said. “That’s some thing good enough to be able to find the people eventually and narrow that down.”
Since most of the vandalism occurred inside park restrooms, where there are no cameras, officials said it’s hard to pinpoint who did the vandalizing.
The parks department has cameras at all of its parks and is looking at possibly adding more. That, along with fixing the damage, costs money which is limited.
“We all operate on a budget and there’s things you want to get done, there’s things the public would like for you to get done,” Stephens said. “Whether that be money or time or both — those play a part when you’re going back and fixing vandalism.”
A spokesperson for the Shelbyville Police Department said officers would provide extra patrols around the parks to help out. In the meantime, park officials are asking the community to be vigilant and say something if they see something.
“People that use our parks love our parks and so relying on those people to share that information and to give us information is definitely a part of making this right,” Van Till said. “The vandalism is not why Shelbyville is about [and] it’s not what our community is about.”
Anyone with any information on these incidents is asked to contact the Shelbyville Parks Department at (317) 392-5128.