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Blackfoot city mayor Mike Virtue is asking the public's vigilance to help stop vandalism at Jensen Grove, after the brand new restrooms that opened on the park's east side on July 4th were vandalized, just nine days later, on the night of July 13.
Blackfoot police officer Scott Rasmussen responded to Jensen Grove for a report of malicious injury to the new bathrooms on the evening of the 13th. He reported that a divider between the urinals had been torn from the wall and was laying on the ground.
Virtue said that the vandals are also stuffing the toilets with 'toilet paper' and doing other things that he described as "depraved."
"These idiots are doing things that should be done in the bathroom...but they are doing it on the floor," Virtue said. "Our city workers have to go in and clean up the mess."
"The taxpayers money goes into these facilities," he went on. "We [the city] try to make Jensen Grove a nice, clean family-friendly facility and these kinds of things cost us money."
Virtue said that unfortunately it is the public that is ultimately punished for the crude behavior of the vandals. Now, the restrooms at Jensen Grove will be locked up nightly at 9 p.m. to prevent further incidents.
The mayor said that gang-related graffiti around Jensen Grove continues to be a problem as well.
Virtue, along with the Blackfoot Police Department, urges anyone who sees anything suspicious or unusual at Jensen Grove (or other city parks) to call police dispatch so that an officer can be sent out to investigate.
"Don't call 911, unless it's an emergency situation," Virtue stressed.
The non-emergency number for the Blackfoot Police Department is 785-1234.