PLAYGROUND RULES: Vicksburg board approves code of conduct for city parks, recreation areas

Published 4:55 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Residents and visitors using Vicksburg’s parks and recreation facilities will have to follow a specific code of conduct or face being banned — in some cases permanently — from the park system.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday approved a resolution setting the code of conduct at its Monday meeting.

Ward 2 Alderman Alex Monsour said the code was developed after a citizen complained about too many people being on a ball field during a game at one of the parks, and that profanity was reportedly heard during the incident.

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“We wanted to clarify what was the right thing to do and how many people should be on the field,” Monsour said. “We just wanted to make it very clear that it’s a park and recreation for visitors, it’s a park and recreation for our residents and we want them to feel that they’re in a safe environment; nobody’s going to get preferential treatment and no one’s going to have to ask anyone else to tone down on language, smoking and drinking.”

Monsour said the board is being proactive with the move.

“We’re getting so much tourism coming to Vicksburg, we just want to make sure we don’t have to deal with problems,” he said. “Sometimes people come in from other areas and they may not know what the rules are in our city parks. We want to make sure it’s out there and they fully understand it.”

The code outlines required conduct for people at the parks and prohibits alcohol, tobacco and abusive language and activity that could injure another person. The penalty for breaking any part of the code is a one-year ban from the city’s parks and recreation system.

Another section of the code of conduct addresses criminal-type behavior like vandalism, possession and the use of illegal drugs and the possession of weapons at the parks. The punishment, according to the resolution, is a permanent ban from the park and possible criminal charges.

“We’ve got to set the tone for recreational use, for people from outside Vicksburg (using the facilities), and especially to protect the young kids in all the park areas,” Monsour said. “We’re going to be zero tolerance.”

Ward 1 Alderman Michael Mayfield said city officials will need to patrol the parks, adding he came upon a party at one of the parks in February where alcohol was openly being served.

“Listen up: if they catch you, they’re going to get you,” Mayfield said. “You cannot bring that alcohol out there among young folks. You just can’t do it.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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