Vandals targeting Veterans Memorial Park in Union

UNION, Mo. – A city park is under attack in Union, Missouri, as vandals are destroying the newly built Veterans Memorial Park.

The park opened this spring at a cost of $6.1 million. It’s been a dream of citizens for 20 years, but vandals are trying to turn a dream into a nightmare.

“Why tear up something the kids enjoy and it’s free. It doesn’t cost us mom’s anything to come,” said Angel Bradley, a parent.

The splash pad in the park is the latest target of vandals. One of the water cannons was destroyed. It’s upsetting to folks who bring their kids here to cool off in the summer heat.

“It’s really sad. They come out here and tear up something brand new for the children,” said Angela Hohlt, a grandmother.

According to Union City Administrator Russell Rost, vandals have hit the park’s scoreboard, the women’s bathroom, trees, and grass. Vandalism in all of Union’s parks adds up each year.

“I think it’s in the neighborhood of $15,000 a year,” Rost said.

The park was not only paid for by tax money, but also many volunteers pitched into to make it a reality.

“We got a lot of people that put a lot of effort into this. It is really beautiful,” Rost said. “To see this is kind of discouraging.”

Folks want the vandals rounded up.

“They should have to do community service they should go pick up trash,” Hohlt said.

There’s a better chance vandals will be caught soon at least on camera. A video surveillance system has been installed. It was in the original park plan, but they had to make budget cuts. Now they have the money to get cameras in place.​