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Hammond park to reopen with hope community will help stem vandalism

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HAMMOND — The skateboard facility at Pulaski Park will reopen Thursday after being closed a month ago due to continued vandalism and graffiti, the city has announced.

"With ongoing requests to reopen the park and after thousands of dollars was spent in employee hours and supplies to clean the park and repair the vandalism, the park will reopen," Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said.

"I want everyone to know that our community cares a lot about this park," he said. "There is a group of people that doesn't and we want them to know that we aren't going to stand by and just let this continue to happen."

The north Hammond park had been the target of vandals for a couple of weeks before its closing, officials said.

"With each instance of vandalism, the Hammond Park Department has simply fixed the problem, hoping that it would eventually go away," McDermott said in a social media post at the time.

The mayor ordered the park department to indefinitely close the skateboard facility until the most recent vandals are turned in or otherwise brought to justice.

"We have spent millions on rebuilding Hammond's parks into some of the nicest around NWI," McDermott had said. "I’m not going to sit back, as Hammond's mayor, and watch vandals destroy something we worked so hard to build."

"If the kids of north Hammond cannot take care of their skateboard park, I'll move it to another part of Hammond that will take care of it," he said.

Upon announcing the reopening, McDermott said, "We're counting on the community to assist in monitoring what's happening at the skate park. I love to see kids using our parks and skate parks. They are what it’s all about and why we have these great amenities in the city."

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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