Police are looking for new ways to address foul language and unruly behavior that occurs occasionally in Rhylander Park in Plattsmouth.
The nice weather the last couple of weeks has again brought the problem to the forefront. As an example, a report last evening came from a female at the park who called police because she was concerned about a group of youths.
It’s a small element of children and teenagers causing trouble, and these “minor nuisances” are usually not against the law unless the kids are smoking, but Plattsmouth Police Chief Steve Rathman can see how it makes others using the park uncomfortable. Police receive calls and respond, but with the size and openness of the park the troublemakers can avoid officers if they see them coming.
The chief, Captain Dave Murdoch and the shift supervisors and are in the process of formulating a plan. “We’re trying to come up with something innovative. It’s such a beautiful park with the trail, playground equipment and room for football, soccer and baseball—we want people to be able to go there with their families and not have to deal with the foul language that sometimes occurs.”
Fiscal restraints keep the department from using officers on overtime for patrolling the park and Rathman doesn’t think “babysitting” should have to be the job of police officers anyway. “It all comes down to accountability, and parents paying attention to their kids and what they’re doing.”
It’s hoped that a police bike unit with new equipment can be established in the weeks ahead and become a patrol that would be useful in the parks, said Rathman.