City steps up for safetyPublished 6:18pm Saturday, February 9, 2013
The City of Washington has been the target of complaints since stepping up safety measures at a local recreation center. Those complaints are short-sighted.
The changes at the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center came shortly after a man was stabbed between games of the Washington Youth Basketball League.
In addition to increased police presence, the city has stepped up enforcement of the center’s building capacity limits.
While it may have led to some minor inconvenience and subsequent complaints, it has also created a noticeable improvement in the atmosphere at the center — a place where children and adults should be able to focus on recreation rather than worry about personal security.
It’s unfortunate the city has to go to such lengths to maintain an appropriate environment for community events such as youth basketball, but it does.
The stabbing incident involving two adults happened despite the code of conduct parents signed at the start of the season.
As WYBL commissioner Wilson Edwards said, “We ask parents to be responsible for their kids; make them act right, behave and have respect for others, but the same thing has to go for the parents. This kind of behavior in front of kids is unacceptable.”
And it happened despite the security recreation-center staff already provided, which included random check-ins from the Washington Police Department.
City leaders saw no choice but to take the additional steps. And for that, they should be commended.
The focus has returned to athletics. Let’s leave the rest at the door.