Lexington parks to ban criminals

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Lexington, KY- Parks like Woodland Park, in downtown Lexington, are looking at ways to cut down on the criminal element.
Like Woodland, Highlands Neighborhood Park is sometimes a target for criminals.
Frank Mullins, who's with the neighborhood association, says he had lights installed above the parking lot to combat suspected criminal activity.
Safety is the goal with the enactment of a new policy, according to the city.
It allows Parks and Recreation to ban certain people from parks who are suspected of criminal activity.
The policy's creator, Chris Cooperrider, says they'll target serious offenses like drug activity and assault.
Mullins thinks it's a good thing.
"The park used to be safer,” he said. “I could send the kids down there early in the morning and wouldn’t see them until the night. But, I wouldn’t want to do that now.”
The city says with the help of the police department, Parks and Recreation will decide who to ban, send them a letter and then they can appeal if they choose.
While a lot of cities across the U.S. have policies in place that ban people from parks, the city says Lexington's is different because of the appeals process, which is two steps.
The first step involves taking your case up with the Deputy Director of Parks.
The second step is to go to the advisory board for the Parks Department.

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