City officials in Lexington are considering ways to enhance safety in neighborhood parks throughout the bluegrass community. A number of recommendations are made in a just-released task force report.
It comes on the heels of a fatal shooting this past weekend in Duncan Park. Lexington Council member Chris Ford says the death of 21 year old Antonio Franklin Junior demonstrates a need for the initiative.
"That is an example and an illustration of why we need to go forward as fast as we can with some of these recommendations," said Franklin.
The report was discussed during this week's Urban County Council meeting. Council Member Peggy Henson says one recommendation looks to keep known offenders out of parks. It also recommends identifying "opportunity parks", or those areas with a high incidence of crime. If adopted, Henson says troublemakers could be banned from city parks.
"If you are arrested or caught in one of our parks doing illegal activities, or with drugs or weapons, or anything that would put people who use that park in danger, you could be barred from the park," said Henson "And it's not just that park, it's any park in the city."
The report also recommends hiring a safe park coordinator. A Council committee will study the matter further.