Alderman defends decision to close North City park Wednesday nig - KMOV.com

Alderman defends decision to close North City park Wednesday night

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O'Fallon Park. Credit: KMOV O'Fallon Park. Credit: KMOV
NORTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

O’Fallon Park closed Wednesday night at the request of an alderman who called behavior in the park unacceptable.

Ward 21 Alderman John Collins-Muhammed worked with the city to have the park close for the night at 10:00 p.m. Wednesday. Collins-Muhammed says he knows the move was controversial but he felt it was necessary.

In a Facebook post, Collins-Muhammed said he observed speeding cars, loud music, people throwing trash and unsupervised kids. Collins-Muhammed described it as “complete chaos.” Park visitor Archie Robinson said such activity is a typical for the park at night.

Daytime visitors told News 4 the park is often calm when the sun is up but things change at night.

“I’ve seen several drug transactions, gang activity and the people that are there to enjoy the park can’t because of all the craziness going on around them and that’s unacceptable,” said Collins-Muhammed.

Robinson said closing the park may have been a bit much.

“I don’t agree with shutting the whole park down, I think there should be more security,” said Robinson.

Collins-Muhammed pushed for more security earlier this year but said rangers have to cover three parks in North City so there aren’t enough resources available.

“Some people were there having a great time, people with their kids, some people were fishing but there was a vast group that was doing the wrong thing,” said Collins-Muhammed.

Collins-Muhammed said park rangers used to work under the Parks and Rec Department but now are part of the police department. He said he wants to see the rangers go back to Park and Rec.

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