I was saddened, horrified, and furious to learn that another shooting occurred at Madison Park. Many of you have contacted me to share your concerns, fears, and recommendations on how to ensure that Lakewood remains a place where all feel welcomed and safe - thank you. I am heartened by the influx of engagement that has resulted from these events and am taking the time to carefully consider each and every recommendation I have received from community members.
I do not support the permanent removal of the basketball hoops as a solution to the recent criminal activity, as I have repeatedly stated. I have yet to be presented or find any evidence that there is a causal link between basketball courts and criminal activity, in general. Last week, Mayor George notified members of Council that it was Chief Kaucheck’s recommendation to temporarily remove the hoops. Mayor George shared the facts and circumstances behind this decision, and I found her explanation reasonable and appropriate. Unfortunately, I cannot yet share the reasoning behind this decision because it could jeopardize an ongoing investigation. I respectfully ask for your patience as the investigation continues and I am confident that, when appropriate, Mayor George will share why this decision was made.
Safety is at the very foundation of what makes Lakewood a place that we love and why so many aspire to live here. Councilmembers Sarah Kepple, Tess Neff, and I have submitted a communication to Council outlining how we would like to see this issue approached. You can find the communication here