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Could Better CRPD Security Have Prevented Jessica's Killing?

A CBS 13 article brings up criticism of the Cordova Recreation and Park District.

The Cordova Recreation and Park District has been before, with residents questioning its maintenance practices and .

But now some residents are asking if better security in Rosemont Community Park could have prevented the killing of 13-year-old Jessica Funk-Haslam, who was found dead in a dugout on March 6.

President Doug Haaland was critical of park district officials for not attending a community meeting held to address Jessica's homicide investigation, according to CBS 13.

“Why wasn’t the district at the meeting? I’m not 100 percent sure why the district wasn’t at the meeting,” CBS 13 quoted District Administrator James Rodems as saying.

The CBS 13 report brings up concerns about lighting and security patrols in the park, but adds that the park district "says they just don’t have the money."

Rosemont, could better lighting, the addition of surveillance cameras or better security patrols have saved Jessica's life? Vote in our poll below and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Harold March 20, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Cody: To start off with there is a perfect letter from the "Rosemont Eye" dealing with Rosemont Park and the CRPD. If you haven't read it, I will forward a copy, You have read through previous posts of mine about the park district and its lack of concern, not only for Rosemont Park, but all parks outside of Rancho proper. I have contacted the CRPD over several years via their email on their website regarding the park, as well as Natolli.I will send you copies of what correspondence that I have. I have/had requested additional lighting in the parking lot as it is dark at night and requested that the lights throughout the park be increased from 100W to 200W. SMUD told me that they would do it if the park would approve it, but the park wouldn't. So it remains dark and unsafe. The diamonds had been in disrepair for years, and Einstein was called constantly about kids hiding in the dugouts, as well has homeless and others. Nothing was done. They totally ignored any and all requests to make the park safer, but yet they had enough money, to rehab a baseball diamond(s) for public high schools in Rancho. They never even had the courtsey to reply to the emails that I sent via their website. They planted trees along the west side fence, then continually overwatered them so they died, as did the lawn.
Harold March 20, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Not only that, but I have turned them into American Water every single year as they violate all watering restrictions. Look at the walkways. Still not repaired; they are ADA violations, and they even took out the walk that fronts the park so the kids have no access from Americana.Some of my comments are far afield from the initial discussion, but it all goes back to the same issue. CRPD has no interest in maintaining or creating a safe environment in Rosemont Park, and never had. Rosemont Park, needs upgraded lighting, throughout the park, as well as lighting in each of the enclosed ball diamonds that illuminate the dugouts. More lighting is needed in the area that divides Rosemont Park from Einstein, so all activities at night can be seen from the large Oak tree, going north towards Americana, but don't hold your breath that it will get done. I personally think that all of their expenditures, including salaries, benefits, etc., should be requested under the Freedom of Information Act to see where their money is going.
Lori P. March 20, 2012 at 07:58 PM
You can always close the park. I would love a park in my neighborhood. And nice pointing out the ADA violations, that should get the ball rolling.
Brad March 21, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Not to be too critical of your opinion, but I'm not sure how much you would "love a park" in your neighborhood if a little girl was murdered there. Particularly despite previous and ongoing complaints that the park is unsafe. And even worse, that the killer is still "at large". CRPD has got problems, big ones, and they aren't going away until they help in every way possible to make the park as safe as possible. Jessica's murder was not the only violent incident to have occurred there in the past. It wasn't even the only stabbing. Although seemingly not related, multiple sexual assaults have also been reported in the vicinity, and just a little over a year ago there was a young man shot in the leg near Einstein - on Christmas Eve no less. Large group fights have been observed in the park after dark, not to mention the ongoing instances of theft, graffiti, trespassing, and vandalism - including arson. CRPD has a responsibility to at least try to help fix these issues, and a "just don’t have the money" excuse is not gonna fly this time. They seemed to have enough money to completely remodel White Rock into a water park and fix the Duck Pond over at Hagan. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm of the belief that slippy slides and little duckies mean nothing when people are being assaulted and now, murdered. CRPD needs to get their priorities straight, or they are not worthy of their job.
Brad March 21, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I'm curious Cody, since CRPD did not feel it was important enough to come to the briefing (though I hope they will show up to a future meeting), have they at the very least released an official statement on this matter? Hopefully it will include ideas about how they plan to address the safety concerns. Don't tell me that their only response, of any kind, is going to be, "We're broke, sorry. :^s ".
Laura March 21, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Better lighting and security cameras would go a long way. I don't think we should have to rely on the security cameras from private citizens for catching people in the act. This is why I chose to live close but not too close to the parks.
Holly Foell March 21, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Remember CRPD is still mourning the loss of their murdered employee.
Tina Wong March 21, 2012 at 05:37 PM
The sad thing is that screams, distressful screams, were heard from the park. But did anybody call the sheriff's dept or 911? We all have to be more aware and make a call. Do not worry if it seems inconsequential, it may save someone's life.
Anita Schaffner March 22, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Lori, I really think that if you lived by a park you would be wishing you weren't. I live right across the street, during little league we put up with people parking blocking our driveway then when we confront them we get yelled at, one lady actually drove on our lawn to turn around in the middle of the street, litter everywhere after games, they try to pick it up but doesn't always work. Unsavory people in the park almost all the time. I've called the school several times about kids hiding under the stairway of the snack bar. The school sent someone over but they saw him coming and hid around the other side then came back out when he left. Beer bottles all over even though there is not supposed to be alcohol in the park. They are supposed to be there after dark either but that doesn't stop them. Tina - living across the street I hear yelling and screaming kids all the time, if I called everytime I heard it there would be a sherrif there 24/7. On second thought maybe that would work.
Anita Schaffner March 22, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Sorry, should have said they aren't supposed to be there after dark.
Dawn March 29, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Times are hard budget cuts have been hard on the CRPD. They Just laid off over half of their maintenence department and suffered the loss of an employee. The middle school has cameras as they may not be efficient enough they do work. CRPD should not be blamed for the death of that little girl. Why dont we focus more on catching the guy who did it rather than trying to blame anyone we feel we can.
Lori P. April 02, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Perhaps this horrible event will bring more security/lighting to the park?
Ella Nersesyan February 21, 2013 at 10:11 PM
It's a sad situation, either way. I don't know how many tears I've cried when I heard the news. I grew up on parfait dr., going to the park when I was younger then her. Play basket ball with my older brothers which were her age at the time. We never had death like this! It's disturbing and wrong and my husband wont let me out when it dark cuz of what happen, and the man never been found. I hope they find the guy and that her soul can some how find peace and some how find her happiest place and start living some how

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