The Rockford Police Department arrested 15 local teenagers today completing a four month investigation into drug use and vandalism in local parks.
Chief Dave Jones reported that an undercover officer has been working in the area parks, particularly the areas surrounding Richardson Sowerby Park, located beneath the 10 Mile bridge.
The undercover officer was able to buy marijuana from three of the youths Jones said. Others were charged with Use of Marijuana, and Destruction of Property.
The investigation was in response to several complaints received from park users about the unruly behavior of the teenagers this summer, Jones said.
All of the offenders have been prohibited from using any city park for at least one year, using a newly enacted local ordinance allowing for expulsion from the parks if parks rules are broken.
“It is our responsibility to create a safe and user friendly environment for park users in the City,” said Jones. “These young people were using our parks as their personal playground for illegal activity. Our hope is that the arrests are a learning experience for those involved and they find better things to do in their spare time.”