Tough call for West Frankfort park officials when reporting vand - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Tough call for West Frankfort park officials when reporting vandalism


James LaBuwi has been coming to the West Frankfort Community Park since childhood.

“Look at it, you have your sports, you have your family time to come. You can ride your bikes here. This is a place where people can gather and be families,” LaBuwi said.

At West Frankfort Community Park new additions have been made.

“We have just reconstructed our roadways,” park manager, Don Rhines said. “We had new gravel on them and had them all redone.”

But within the past month, Rhines said vandals have been destroying part of it.

“They come into the parking lot at a high rate of speed – do donuts in the parking lot and fly out,” he said. “It seems to be a continuous circle.”

And when incidents like this happen, the question is who to call.

A certain part of the park is in Franklin County police jurisdiction, about 20 minutes away.

But just taking a few steps in a certain direction of the park, someone can quickly be within city limits of West Frankfort.

It’s an issue park officials have been dealing with for more than 30 years.

Before, a 911 map for the county showed the park was outside of city limits.

“At that point in time there became a liability issue as far as jurisdiction is concerned,” West Frankfort police chief, Shawn Talluto said.

A surveyor recently  found a map showing that three quarters of the park was within city limits.

After this was presented to city officials and the map was later approved, it still left some parts in Franklin county’s jurisdiction.

Both park officials and West Frankfort Police are hoping to change that.

“The steps should be underway to get this all clarified and hopefully we got everything set,” Rhines said.

“Our hope is as a city Is that they can go ahead and annex the rest of the park in the city’s jurisdiction and we can handle all of it at that point,” Talluto said.

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