BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Beginning Saturday, Patton Park, East Lake Park and George Ward Park will all have curfews for the next three weekends.
Birmingham Park Board Chairman Montal Morton says the curfew will start at 6 p.m. and go into the morning. The move comes after one woman died in a shooting on Easter Sunday at Patton Park.
Some residents like Kimberly Thompson believe a curfew for the parks is needed in this situation.
“If adults are going to mess it up, by bringing out weapons, by bringing out just a negative element that unfortunately exists in society today, put a curfew in place.”
Thompson says she’s enjoyed the past few weeks going to George Ward Park with her son and family.
“We didn’t have all of the PlayStations, the games. We were outside. So, it’s great to see my son and my nieces and nephew doing the same thing,” Thompson said.
Thompson says parks are places for peace and fun, not violence.
“We can keep our kids safe. We can keep our society safe. And hopefully, at some point, we can truly get back to normal,” Thompson said.
Some people tell CBS 42 they think the curfew won’t be effective. They say having more patrol of the parks will.
“Of course, in a perfect world, we would like all the tools in the toolbox. We would like cameras. We would like extra policemen. We would like park rangers, but as you know, that stuff that costs money,” Morton said.
Morton says he doesn’t want to punish the public, but believes some form of action is needed.
“That we understand that we have to address this issue,” Morton said.
Thompson hopes the curfew works in order for everyone to feel safe at the park again.
“I think if we do something different we might actually get a different reaction, which will hopefully be something positive,” Thompson said.
Morton says they are discussing enforcement with Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office and the police department. If it works, he says they’ll lift the curfew. However, if crime and violence are still prevalent, then more adjustments will be made.