The vandalism that defaced a latte house at the still-under-construction San Vicente Central Park has Precinct 1 Rep. Edwin K. Propst (Ind-Saipan) calling for more frequent patrols by the Department of Public Safety.
“We really need greater enforcement in our villages,” Propst said. “It is heartbreaking to see [the vandalism] happening. We are a loving and caring community and precinct. There are obviously a few individuals, perhaps, that are troubled right now. The concern is that this project isn’t even completed and we’re already seeing vandalism.”
Increased police presence and actual monitoring in the villages, according to Propst, would be a deterrent.
“If it is a budgetary issue as to why they can’t patrol them, then the DPS commissioner and DPS need to let us know. If that’s the case, then we have to find greater money for them, a greater budget. But they certainly have to look at all these needs in our precinct,” he added.
Aside from policing by DPS, Propst is also rallying the community to volunteer and assist in establishing patrols, such as a community watch project.
“If you want to deter vandalism, it’s not going to be just through higher fines and higher penalties. We already have penalties in place. It has to come down to enforcement,” Propst added.
The installation of cameras is another possible solution.
“If you’re going to spend that much on a park, then we should at least have some cameras put up. That’s an expense that is necessary to ensure that if the cameras are on and some something is seen, then it can be responded to immediately,” he said.
In an earlier interview, press secretary Kevin Bautista said the Torres administration has already installed security cameras and required more community policing in specific areas, particularly in youth centers.
Bautista also assured that plans to secure the San Vicente Central Park are in place, which would include additional community policing, DPS personnel, as well as potential security through partnership with the private sector.