New Mexico park plagued by vandals to get security system

Security camera

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Rio Rancho has plans to install a security system to deter vandals at the Veterans Memorial Park.

“It’s a place where they can come and remember their loved ones, say prayers,” said Rick Ebert.

“It is also a place to learn,” said Patricia Nawrocki.

The park is also a place that has been plagued by vandals.

“It was kind of like a knife in your back really,” Ebert said.

Ebert works for Rio Rancho’s Parks and Recreation Department. He’s had to clean up grafitti on the park’s memorial bricks numerous times.

“You know it was kind of shameful to see it that way,” he said.

Ebert is reminded of the vandalism every day. The city said when crews washed off the latest grafitti some of the lettering on the bricks came off too.

On Wednesday night, the Rio Rancho City Council voted unanimously to put $30,000 toward the addition of a new security system at the park.

“It will be things like motion sensors, cameras, alerts to the police department,” said Rio Rancho Deputy Chief of Police Paul Rogers.

The system could even let officers tap into the park’s cameras from their cell phones.

“We want to ensure that we are notified of anything going on so that we can go stop that activity,” Rogers said.

“If there are people that vulgar and uneducated and stupid to violate this place then I think we ought to put something up against it,” Nawrocki said.

It’s not clear when the security system will be installed. It will be similar to the one at A Park Above in Rio Rancho.

The Veterans Memorial Park will also get a large statue dedicated to the five law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in Sandoval County. The statue is expected to be installed in May.

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