Subhead: Huntersville police consider surveillance 

HUNTERSVILLE – The $500 in damage done in late July to the David B. Waymer Center has town leaders looking for answers on how to stop vandalism.

The community center off Holbrooks Road suffered torn-out sinks, paint on walls and a damaged door, but it’s not an isolated incident.

Huntersville Deputy Police Chief Michael Kee said the center has already had four instances of vandalism this year.

The cases range from paint on walls to torn-out sinks on two occasions. They’ve cost the town parks and recreation department roughly $1,000 to repair, Director Michael Jaycocks said.

Repairs to the most recent damaged parts of the recreation center were finished Aug. 5.

“We try to clean it up as soon as possible,” Jaycocks said.

Residents have asked the police department to patrol the area more frequently, a request they’re honoring, Kee said.

“We’re also trying to work with people who have lived in the community for a long time to develop relationships and see if it can help us solve this,” he said. “It’s a shame something like this keeps happening.”

The Waymer Center has an 8,000-square-foot gym and is home to the parks and recreation department’s after-school and summer camp programs.

Jaycocks said he’s exploring the idea of adding surveillance cameras to all of the town’s recreation centers and parks. None of the parks and centers have cameras, he added.

That could change in the future.

“We’re looking into what other parks are doing in terms of surveillance,” Jaycocks said. “We don’t have the staff to have someone at the parks at all times. We’re looking at some surveillance technology that would probably help us. We’ve got to examine its cost.”

Other recreation areas in town have experienced vandalism issues in the past.

Jaycocks said North Mecklenburg Park, off Old Statesville Road, underwent a series of vandalism problems, but they stopped several years ago.

“It’s always inconsistent,” he said. “When you get more people coming around, it’s possible things can happen. We bring in a lot of people in the summer and fall. We’re going to see what we can do to solve this so it doesn’t keep happening.”