Smith ParkFlowering Ornamental Tree Blossoms At Smith Park in April of last year. Thomas Minutolo | PHOTO

Like so many cities of its size, New Carlisle has various recreational parks and pocket parks scattered across the 2.5 miles within the city limits. Among those are Smith Park, Haddix, Bobo, New Carlisle and the Skate Park.

During a recent city council meeting, council member Rick Lowery spoke of homeless people allegedly sleeping in New Carlisle Park. Lowrey claims to have been approached by local law enforcement over the the past year or so regrading drug activity at the skate park late at night.

As the discussion went on at the meeting and City Manager Randy Bridge assured residents who might be viewing the meeting on YouTube that “our parks are safe” Lowery stated “we’re gonna tell the truth we got people sleeping in the park”. Lowery did not cease his claims of problems in New Carlisle Park and the Skate Park despite the assurance by Sergeant Ralph Underwood of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office stating that the activity described was minimal if occurring at all.

The New Carlisle News contacted Sheriff Kelly and his staff gathered statistics related specifically to the parks in the city for us.

According to information provided by Nicole Elliott, Records, Leads TAC and Stats Administrator for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, in 2015 there were no arrests at the Haddix Ball Park. There was one call for a threat of menacing.

Smith Park is one of the most popular parks in the city. The shelter house actually brings in revenue to the city as a rental for a number of family gatherings throughout the year. It also serves as the site at night for all of the city government meetings.

In 2015 there were 6 calls related to a suspicious person or vehicle and 4 for unruly juveniles. There was one arrest of an intoxicated person and one assault reported at Smith Park.

One complaint was made related to Carlisle Park; however no arrests were made at this park either.

The New Carlisle Pool and Skate Park were both pretty quiet in 2015 as well. One burglary in progress was reported, 1 neighbor problem and 1 suspicious person / vehicle.

Many cities the size of New Carlisle are experiencing a much larger call volume to law enforcement dispatch. The information provided by Ms. Elliott was for the entire year of 2015 and was researched by staff at the Sheriff’s Office.

The statistical report was shared by Sheriff Kelly with the City Manager Randy Bridge. During the meeting Bridge looked directly at the camera and made the statement “our parks are safe” and we could find nothing to dispute his claim.

This summer a number of activities are again planned for the New Carlisle community and the park system will play a key role in those events.

Individuals who do witness possible drug activity in the community should contact the dispatcher to report anything of a suspicious nature. As Sheriff Kelly always says, the call not made is the one we are most concerned about. You can reach the non-emergency dispatch center by calling 328-2560.

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