COWARD, SC (WMBF) The Town of Coward's park underwent an $8,000 renovation just one year ago. New paint and new roofs over the picnic area were just some the updates, but soon cameras will watch the area because vandals have been wrecking this park.
"They have gone in there and filled the sinks full of sand, and the commodes to the point that we have actually had to open the septic tank and have it cleaned out," said Coward's Mayor Dianne Thomas.
Those are just some of the problems Mayor Dianne Thomas has been forced to put up with when it comes to the vandalism taking place at the town's park and ball fields.
"The concession stand was broken into twice. The first time, my understanding is they took all of the goodies that were inside there. That is sold at the ball games," Thomas said.
Thomas said cash was also stolen out of the same concession stand and the crimes don't stop there. Thomas said thieves tried to break into the equipment room at the ball fields and steal the stuff stored inside, but luckily they were unsuccessful.
"But they did mess up the door on there and that had to be repaired," the mayor said.
Repairs from the vandalism and would-be thefts have been costing the town, but Thomas thinks she finally has the answer to the town's problems. Security cameras will soon be installed around the park, town hall and ball fields.
"It will be a 24-hour, 7-days a week camera system that has the capabilities of being monitored at all times," said Coward Policeman Evan Davis.
To get that additional surveillance, Florence County Council granted the town $5,000. That funding will allow those cameras to be installed within the new few months, to hopefully catch the culprits responsible for the vandalism.
"It's the same types of vandalism that just keeps happening, over and over. And with this camera system, hopefully we will be able to catch whoever is doing it," said Thomas.