Property vandalism is no laughing matter

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Vandalism is a huge problem in America. Some big cities spend millions of dollars each year on graffiti removal alone.

While some of the damage done to buildings and public spaces is accidental and some is meant to send a message, most vandalism is committed for no reason at all, and that is certainly the most aggravating for property owners.

The damage done to the A.D. Lewis Community Center Pool earlier this week was a particularly sad example, because the community has worked so hard to keep the iconic 59-year-old pool open. Just two weeks ago, the pool opened for the summer season thanks to contributions from Marathon Petroleum and tireless volunteers.

But Monday morning, staffers at the pool discovered that vandals had dumped chemicals into the pool pump, tagged the pool house with graffiti, set swimming “noodles” on fire and burned all of the chemical test kits. Fortunately, after two days of extra work, the pool was reopened on Tuesday afternoon.

Police continue to investigate who might be responsible for the pool damage and possibly related vandalism at the Northcott Court housing development, but the senselessness of the pranks was underscored by a note found at the scene that said, “I’m sorry, we were just having fun.”

That illustrates the disconnect that should concern parents, educators and the general public…

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