A few towns have them, but most don't.

They're curfews for borough parks and playgrounds. In some towns, nobody is permitted in parks and playgrounds after a specified hour.

Such curfews are a great idea. They help prevent vandalism and cut down on such activities as drug use and other crimes.

We've been to playgrounds and have found condoms, litter, and graffiti. Admittedly some of this could have occurred in the daylight hours, but certainly the night is when isolated playgrounds and parks offer a convenience for gatherings of unscrupulous individuals.

With curfews, police have an extra tool for preventing damages to playground and park equipment.

Playgrounds are built for the use by youngsters in the community; children who shouldn't be in the facilities late at night. Not only are sliding boards, swings, and other such items targeted by vandals, so are buildings which are subjected to vile graffiti.

There's no reason parks and playgrounds have to be open 24/7 to the public. We've witnessed too many destructive acts. We've even heard of individuals finding drug needles or paraphernalia on some playgrounds.

Without a curfew, the hands of police officers are tied. With a curfew, it means anyone in parks or on playgrounds after specified hours are in the wrong and police can investigate their activities and actions.

Borough councils and township supervisors need to adopt curfews for playgrounds and parks. Equipment and facilities are very expensive to purchase, install, and maintain. The curfews are preventing an investment.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com [1]