The Anchorage School District says vandalism is a problem in the summer months, but this year it has two sets of eyes to keep vandals out, according to KTUU-TV, Anchorage. Schools installed more cameras in parking lots, but extra help is literally rolling in.
Local schools asked campers heading to Anchorage to stay in school parking lots.
Sarah Hanley says since the school district started its RV program — which puts campers at the schools in the summer — she feels the playground is safer for her daughter. “It’s a safe place to go,” Hanley said. “They keep security people on hand to keep the kids safe from loiterers and it makes me feel safer.”
Jack Crosser plans to make Klatt Elementary School his home for the summer. “I think as soon as they pull on site and there is already someone here, that’s automatically a deterrent,” Crosser said.
Just the other night, Crosser said, he broke up a fight in a parking lot. “I had one little incident the other night,” Crosser said. “But it dispersed pretty quickly once they knew I was on the phone with police.” In return for their watchful eye, campers get free parking, power and water, which Crosser says is a pretty good deal. And there’s still plenty of room for campers at the schools.
Superintendent Carol Comeau says when school is out there’s more vandalism on school property.
The Anchorage School District pays more than $300,000 a year to clean up after vandals. “Use our schools, use our school grounds. Just be safe,” Comeau said. “Don’t do something that’s going to cause a problem; don’t commit a crime. Don’t leave trash everywhere that’s going to attract bears and leave a mess. But a lot of families right now just can’t afford a lot of the youth sports activities or some of the camps so there are a fair amount of kids just hanging around.”
This year there’s a record summer school enrollment which administrators say might keep kids occupied.
Anchorage police want to remind children and their parents that the summer curfew is 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Kids under 17 caught out between those hours face a fine of $75 to $300.