West Allis police get new tool in dealing with park troublemakers

Oct. 31, 2012

West Allis - West Allis police now can ban repeat troublemakers from all city parks for up to a year, under a new ordinance the Common Council recently approved.

Although Liberty Heights Park, 1540 S. 62nd St., where neighbors petitioned the city to do something about the park, wasn't the focus for the new ordinance, it was the trigger.

Police applaud the ability the ordinance gives them to ban repeat troublemakers because it gives them leverage to deal with problems, said interim Police Chief Charles Padgett. Before, police could only issue tickets or arrest people for offenses such as disorderly conduct or drug possession, he said.

Problems the parks experience are generally loud noise, use of profanity, disorderly conduct and drugs, he said.

People who are banned from parks and are caught there can be fined $500.

Alderman Michael Czaplewski, one of two aldermen in whose district Liberty Heights Park is located, said this will help the problems the park has had with people drinking.

"They're there all the time," he said.

Alderman Vince Vitale who also represents the area, said neighbors also have complained about kids playing basketball into the night and using profanity. Vitale said he is pleased that the new ordinance gives police more clout to get rid of such disturbances.

"This is more for people to be aware that if they want to be in the park, certain rules apply," Vitale said.

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