Wilton’s police department and Parks and Recreation Department director are requesting American Rescue Plan Act funds to purchase a security-camera system following vandalism at the town’s parks. Director Frank Donald told the Select Board vandalism at the parks has intensified over the last few years. Submitted photo

WILTON — The Select Board has been asked to install cameras at various parks across Wilton following instances of vandalism.

Wilton Parks and Recreation Department Director Frank Donald told the Select Board at their Tuesday, Aug. 2, meeting there has been a “fair amount of vandalism” at town parks this summer.

Bass Park, Kineowatha Park and Village View Park have been targeted.

Specifically, Bass Park has been a “hotspot,” Donald said. Recently, unknown individuals have damaged the engraved-marble dedication on a bench, “busted up three or four picnic tables,” ripped up chunks of the tarred parking lot, and “beat the daylights out of” a Loon weather vane donated to the town, Donald said.

At Kineowatha, Donald said that the basketball courts have been covered in spray paint (before the basketball courts were recently repaved) among other instances of vandalism.

The Franklin Journal received photos taken by the Parks and Recreation Department of the vandalism, including spray paint calling Donald a homophobic slur.


As a result, Donald, the Wilton Police Department and Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri are requesting use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to pay for cameras and a security system.

This will save the police department time and money spent on investigating the crimes, Donald said. They’d be able to know who did the crime right after it happened.

“[Cameras would] save them a lot of backtracking, trying to catch up with them [the suspects], follow up on investigations and that sort of thing,” he said.

“Saving that type of money [on police investigations] would probably pay for this system,” Maiuri added.

Donald said the system could cost around $3,000-$5,000, depending on which security system and cameras the police department specifically requests.

There are a variety of systems that offer different monitoring options, including DVR systems and systems that send live feed to the police department.


Police could then decide whether there’s an immediate need to head to the park, Donald said.

In an interview, Donald said when he first began working with the Parks and Recreation Department 33 years ago the level of vandalism was “just awful.”

“I could have quit two or three different times that first three years [in the job] because there was so much work to be done to get the place up to speed on the buildings and grounds,” he said. “Every day, for three straight weeks, I [told the town manager] ‘I’ve come into some sort of vandalism – some of it really bad, some of it more of a nuisance.'”

At that time, Donald didn’t even see the point in fixing the vandalism because it just continued on.

It had gotten better over the years with increased police patrols, but the vandalism began intensifying at the start of the pandemic, Donald said.

He reasoned the increase had to do with the pandemic, teenagers having more free time on their hands.


“This year it’s really ramped up,” Donald said. “I’m sure it’s just the same six or eight kids doing it, for the most part. But no one is catching them.”

While the vandalism has worsened, Donald stressed that the parks, particularly Kineowatha are still safe places for families. The majority of vandalism occurs after closing, he said.

Donald has described the vandalism as “very frustrating.”

“There’s a lot of joy in this job. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been in it that long, to see people come in use [the parks] enjoy them, especially the kids,” he said. “Probably the most frustrating part of the job on the negative side is to see just senseless vandalism.”

He sees no gain in the type of destructive vandalism occurring now.

“I just don’t get it,” Donald said.

Donald is waiting for a final report from the police department, he told the board. At the next meeting, he said he’d return to the board with a specified request for a certain system and the money it would cost.

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