After a pair of recent vandalism incidents in Franklin, city officials received approval to create monetary reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of perpetrators of crime in the city.
Franklin City Council approved the request of City Manager Jonathan Westendorf who said there have been a pair of “high-profile vandalism” incidents at the new playground under construction at Community Park and at the construction site of the new Franklin High School.
City officials are developing a reward program following the recent vandalism at Community Park where graffiti was painted on new playground equipment under construction by city crews. The incident prompted Police Chief Adam Colon to post a selfie telling would-be vandals to stop damaging the new playground equipment with inappropriate graffiti. Franklin is in the process of installing and rebuilding the playground at Community Park, an investment of more than $545,000. Westendorf said the project is awaiting delivery of a part for the equipment before the new turf can be installed.
“We’re making a big investment and we want it to last for generations,” Westendorf said. “We’re really excited about it.”
He said the criteria for such monetary rewards are being developed and will be announced soon.
City officials said they believe the ability for the Division of Police to offer monetary rewards as an incentive for people to provide tips and other information would be a valuable investigatory tool. Mayor Brent Centers said this would enable the police chief, in consultation with the city manager, the discretion to offer a monetary reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
“I believe a lot of people in the community were upset about the damage at the park,” said Vice Mayor Todd Hall. “My family was livid. We have to put a stop to this now.”
Councilman Paul Ruppert said vandals had damaged park restrooms in addition to the graffiti on the new park equipment.
Westendorf said there are security cameras in the park and plans are in the works to expand the number of cameras there.
HOW TO PROVIDE A CRIME TIP
Anonymous information may be shared with Franklin police via the 1Tip Anonymous Hotline at 937-743-1Tip (1847).