OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - Almost $100 million is being invested into downtown Owensboro for projects like Smothers Park, the Convention Center, and Riverfront Crossing.
With a bill that big, city officials want to make sure nothing damages that investment. That's why more security is being added to downtown Owensboro.
Owensboro's first downtown project, Riverfront Crossing, opened six months ago and it already has damage. Mayor Ron Payne says it has to stop. For the first time in a long time, downtown Owensboro is a popular place to be.
"Right now, we're already seeing an increase in people coming down just to see what's going on," said Tammy Duncan, who works downtown.
With several multi-million dollar projects being worked on and opening up, city leaders feel the need to protect those projects from vandalism. That's why $70,000 dollars has been set aside for more downtown security.
"Actively patrolling the downtown riverfront redevelopment on foot and by use of patrol sector car, walking around the entire property. It's to show the public that we are going to have a police presence in downtown. Make ourselves more approachable to the public if they do have any questions or issues, they can walk right up to us," said OPD Sgt. David Powell.
"I personally think it needs to be done. I'll be glad to see that they have more security," said Duncan.
Duncan isn't the only one. BMX rider Ryan Clark remembers the $4,000 done in damage to Riverfront Crossing as a result of BMX tricks and skateboarders.
"They don't know what they're doing and they don't understand the concept of the damage. I don't like seeing stuff damaged," said Clark.
Clark wants to see the city build a skatepark for BMX riders and skateboarders. He also wants downtown to have more security.
"I think it's a good thing. It deters vandalism, but two, it just helps with the overall safety of the downtown area," said Clark.
City leaders are also looking at connecting surveillance cameras to dispatch so they can keep an eye on the parks all times of the day.