VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – The Vigo County Parks Department saw a need for more security in the parks, so that prompted their board to create change.
Their decision is one that marks history for Vigo County.
As you take in the scenery at any of the 10 Vigo County Parks, one topic that should never be questioned is your safety.
“We get calls all the time, people like to call if they see anything suspicious,” said Adam Grossman, Assistant Superintendent at the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department.
So the Parks Department teamed up with Sheriff’s department to create change.
“We wanted to reach out to them and said we really wanted to be more proactive. We wanted to be more present and they’ve been great at helping us out on resources,” said Grossman.
After a week’s training with the Sheriff’s Department, Grossman became the first Parks Department employee to be deputized.
This means he now has legal authority to arrest someone and carry a gun. He can also write citations for any violations of park rules.
“It gives our park policies a little more teeth. It gives us the ability to handle the situation a little more swiftly and make sure it doesn’t get out of control,” said Grossman.
According to county policy, Vigo County officials can’t carry a gun during working hours. As an exception, the Parks Department board approved Grossman to carry a gun on company time because they saw a need for extra security.
“I think it benefits the community by our department being better prepared for any situation that may arise in the future,” said Grossman.
Grossman can now handle incidents on sight rather than always needing to call the Sheriff’s Department. This makes for a faster response time for offenses that happen in the park.
So destinations like Fowler Park, Hawthorn Park and Griffin Bike Park can be enjoyed without concerns of security.
“It’s new in our department so we’re going to figure out what is best in the situation, how are we going to handle this,” said Grossman. “There’s time that we don’t need a uniformed office and there are times that we do.