“I would also state for the public record that if individuals are utilizing our parks after hours for indecent and illegal behavior, please know that we are increasing the patrols. You probably will be caught and you should take that behavior and whatever you’re doing and go elsewhere, because it’s not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Those were the fiery words of Saline Mayor Brian Marl at Monday’s Saline City Council meeting, according to journalist Bob Conradi.
Marl spoke after Police Chief Larry Hrinik gave his quarterly police report.
So what caused the stern warnings from the Mayor?
One of the stats in Hrinik’s report showed that police officer park checks have jumped from 178 to 437.
By phone, Saline Police Sgt. Jay Basso explained why.
“The department received several complaints of illegal activity at Mill Pond Park,” Basso said. “Citizens were complaining of people engaging in drug use, sex and loitering late at night.”
The complaints haven’t showed up in regular police reports often. In some cases, they’ve come by email, several days after the incident.
To combat the perceived problem, police began checking the park with more frequency. If there was a problem, police presence appears to have helped.
“We haven’t seen or witnessed anything major. We haven’t had any major arrests,” Basso said.
There have been cases of attempted property discussion at the park. People have tried to knock over the portable toilets and set trash cans on fire.