Council to consider measures to address nuisance behaviours in Tecumseh's Lakewood Park South

AM800-News-Lakewood Park South

Tecumseh council is going to consider several options to combat on-going public nuisance behaviours around Lakewood Park South in Tecumseh.

The issue going to council Tuesday evening is focused on the parking lot at the park near Riverside Drive and Manning Road.

An administration report says that since 2020, there have been numerous incidents of public nuisance behaviours occurring in the parking lot, primarily on weekends from mid-May to early October.

Over this time period, the Essex County – North Operations of the Ontario Provincial Police report that officers have attended the parking lot at Lakewood Park South in response to 78 reported occurrences involving trouble with youth, noise complaints (music from vehicles or otherwise), open alcohol, people on the roof of the parks shed, vehicle nuisance, public urination, and other similar types of behaviours. 

Since that time, a number of measures have been put in place including a fence between the parks shed and the residential fences on the east side of the shed to prevent youth from gathering in that area, security cameras have been installed and brighter lights to improve visibility.

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara says they have several option to discuss including a request for increased police patrols.

"Adding more security cameras, more lighting and installing a permanent parking barrier arm system at the ingress and egress at both Lakewood Park South and Lakewood Park North, with timed closures from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.," he says.

McNamara says it's a disappointing situation.

"It's the vandalism that goes through the park and that' effects every resident through their taxes," he says. "These parks have been heavily invested through taxpayer money to make it enjoyable for all of our citizens, not just Tecumseh but for all of the region.)

McNamara says they'd love to be able to invest in other amenities rather than these measures.

"These measures are not only nuisance to some but the cost measure as well, we need to protect our investments. Certainly the residents who live in those areas close by deserve a secure and quiet environment," he adds.

The OPP report that they were involved in 28 calls from the Commissionaires from May 22 to Sept. 4, 2023 since the behaviour required the additional support from the OPP.

This represents 39% of all security shifts where the volume of individuals and escalated behaviours created conditions which were unsafe to the Commissionaires.

The report says, when individuals did leave the area, they either relocated to the parking area at Lakewood Park North or simply returned after a period.

Tecumseh council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023.