Jacksonville, FL - Hoping for change.
We first told you Monday that the Fort Caroline Athletic Association was apparently vandalized over the weekend. New today we’re learning more about the damage and what’s being done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The FCAA says vandals apparently climbed on to portable bathrooms to get in to their office on the second floor. From there, the vandals broke trophies and emptied out two fire extinguishers, among other damage.
FCAA Athletic Director Kyle Stevens says the repairs will cost them thousands of dollars.
“When we have to pay for vandalism, it takes away from us putting money in to the ball field,” Stevens says.
While the bill is high, Stevens says the real heartbreak is over some of the damaged trophies and memorabilia that may not be able to be repaired or replaced, like a Cal Ripken World Series trophy from around 1996.
“To the kids that have put all their hard effort and time in in, it’s considered priceless,” he says.
Part of Stevens frustration is that this is now the first time they’ve seen serious vandalism in recent months. The reason there were portable bathrooms at the facility is because just about two months ago- according to Stevens- vandals broke in to the bathrooms and broke mirrors and other plumbing. We’ve requested the police report on that incident.
He says they’ve had small incidents of vandalism before, like graffiti, but never anything of this magnitude.
“It progresses a whole lot more this summer than it ever has,” Stevens says.
Following this string of crime, Stevens is hoping to see more police in the area to try to deter crime, especially with the season now kicking off.
I reached out to the City to see what they are doing about safety in the area. JaxParks tells me they are working with both FCAA and JSO.
“We have discussed with our JSO liaison and asked him to help with getting office[r]s to frequent the area more often,” reads the statement issued to WOKV, in part.
I’m further told JSO is good at assisting when they have “availability”, but there was no direct comment on whether that availability exists at this time.