Oswego Police Stepping Up Patrols Near School, Park
Aug 05, 2015 09:49PM ● Published by Steven Jack
Police activity and the resulting resident feedback have prompted the Oswego Police Department to step up patrols near Fox Chase Elementary School and the adjacent Wormley Heritage Park.
Police announced the action on the department’s Facebook page early Wednesday morning —hours after a fight broke out between two juvenile males playing basketball on the courts at the school. Police issued local ordinance tickets for fighting, and after a chase, arrested one of about 20 bystanders on a warrant violation.
Over the course of the last three months in the area, Police Chief Jeff Burgner said there have been six damage to property reports, four for graffiti, one for theft and another for battery. The graffiti reports were taken last week, while the battery took place Aug. 2 when a man on a bicycle allegedly grabbed the chest of a female sitting on a bench.
“This week we’ve started to hear a lot from residents about problems in that area,” Burgner said. “A lot of it is disorderly conduct and youths being disruptive in the park. But when you start to hear more about crimes beyond just property crimes, this has to be addressed. We will add extra patrols and discuss it with the School District and Park District just to make sure they are aware of what’s happening on their property.”
A few residents were present at a quarterly Monday meeting of the Oswego Homeowners Confederation at Village Hall and voiced their concerns about increased crime, which Burgner said were relayed to him. Others have taken to social media to voice their frustrations with some saying they feel like the problems are coming from nearby areas outside of the immediate neighborhood.
“I've seen the new crew that hangs out down by the school, and what they've brought to the area is not positive,” wrote Jonathan Keck. “Chasing kids off, obscenities for all the world to hear, bullying, and lack of respect for the neighborhood.”
Burgner said without suspect information in many of the recent crimes it’s impossible to say if the trouble is coming from any particular area of town. Of the 20 or so people police made contact with after Tuesday night’s brawl, Burgner said most were from all over Oswego and a few were even from out of town.
"Many people may be coming into the area from places where they don't have park amenities," Burgner said. "It's a balance. We want to promote people being able to enjoy our parks, but of course when we see problems that involve physical acts that's when we have to start keeping an eye on what's happening."
When asked about installing police cameras in the area as was suggested by another resident on the Police Department Facebook page, Burgner said it’s something the police could do. However, determining an effective set up location for such a large area could be a challenge, he said.