- Justin McClelland Contributing Writer
The Kettering Parks Department is asking for community help in keeping their parks safe and undisturbed.
The Eagle Eye Neighborhood Park Watch Program is a joint partnership between the City of Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department and City of Kettering Police Department. The program’s aim is to educate the community about safety in parks and to help equip citizens with the power to keep the parks clean and prevent crime and vandalism.
“Like all cities, Kettering struggles with vandalism in the parks and playgrounds,” said Kerri Miles, the Environmental Education Coordinator for Kettering’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department. “Vandalism in parks is harmful because we as citizens pay for the parks and we have to pay to fix any damage or destruction that is done to them.”
The Eagle Eye program is aimed at promoting responsibility for the city’s parks and educating the population, particularly children, about what to do if they see something bad happening in a park. The program is led by Seemore, a bald eagle mascot, who has traveled to all the Kettering schools to teach about the program.
“Seemore has been a big hit with students,” Miles said. “He helps us explain how parks are to be enjoyed by everyone and to promote respect for park areas. He explains why the parks need to be kept in good shape for everyone to use.”
The parks department recently opened a new education center on Bellflower Street and has made improvements to many of its parks. The city has 21 different parks in its borders, meaning every resident in the city lives close to at least one park and usually several, Miles said.
“Maybe someone is working late and when they come home, they see someone or something happening at a park that doesn’t feel quite right to them,” said Officer Ron Roberts, the public information officer for the Kettering Police. “We want them to know its OK to call us to come check it out. That is what we are here for.”
Roberts stressed residents shouldn’t engage or approach suspicious persons but could help police by being good witnesses, jotting down what they saw.
For emergencies, call 911. To report suspicious activities, call the Kettering Police Department at (937) 296-2555.
To report vandalism that has already happened, call Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department at (937) 296-2486.