Program adds eyes and ears at local parks

Credit: NBC Charlotte

Program adds eyes and ears at local parks

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by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 9:10 PM

GASTONIA, N.C. -- If you are a regular visitor to a park in Gastonia, the Parks Department is looking for your help.

The department is setting up a volunteer park watch program.

The hope is that regular park-goers will keep their eyes out for suspicious people and equipment that is broken.

"We just want more eyes and more ears, just to make the parks a safer place," said Parks and Recreation Director Chuck Dellinger.

The thinking is that anyone using a park on a regular basis knows if there is a suspicious stranger or something that just isn't right.

Volunteers in the new program would undergo an hour of training to learn what to do and who to call.

The idea is not to play police officer, but rather just to report whatever is out of the ordinary.

Parent Jennifer Glass said, "I think it is a wonderful thing for our children, and people who use the park should keep an eye out for suspicious people who might be in the area."

Volunteers will also be asked to keep an eye on the slides and other equipment in case they spot a loose bolt or missing screw.

"Things people might see before we get out there to do those checks, daily, weekly or monthly," said Dellinger.

The department is putting together its first class of volunteers now.

If you are interested, call the Parks Department at 704-866-6839.

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