Valdosta Daily Times

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October 9, 2013

No parks after dark

VALDOSTA — Due to concerns of suspected illegal activity, two Valdosta parks are now only open during daylight hours.

The Valdosta Lowndes Parks and Recreation Authority has posted signs at Tom’s Corner Park at East Mary and Troup Streets and at Olympic Park at 300 S. Patterson St., notifying the public that the parks will be closed after dark. The signs also inform park-goers that police officers are authorized to issue criminal trespass warnings.

Over the past few years, Valdosta police and the VLPRA have received numerous complaints about loitering, noise, intoxicated individuals and suspected drug transactions in these parks, and the new hours are intended to address those complaints, according to Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.

The new hours will allow Valdosta police to approach individuals still in the parks after sunset and ask them to leave.

“We aren’t going to be heavy-handed about this. We are going to ask individuals to voluntarily leave first, but if you refuse to leave, you could be arrested,” said Childress.

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