Former Crime-Plagued Pavilion Reopens in Bridgeville After Sweep - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Former Crime-Plagued Pavilion Reopens in Bridgeville After Sweeping Security Changes

Posted: Jul 11, 2018 5:18 PM Updated:

BRIDGEVILLE, Del.- A historic picnic area and pavilion in the Redden State Forest is reopen nearly 18 months after persistent criminal activity prompted authorities to shut the area down.

The Jester Tract of the Redden State Forest-- on Redden Road between Robbins Road and 593--now has lighting and 24/7 cameras. An access gate has been moved so it is beneath lighting and cameras now, and once defaced picnic tables have been cleared of their graphic graffiti. 

Kyle Hoyd, the Assistant Forest Administrator with the Delaware Forest Service, says reopening the area was a result of teamwork with the Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

"We do have a plan in place where troopers are going to be in this area more," Hoyd explains. "We are working with them so they can hang out in this area, and patrol this area and Fish and Wildlife [police] as well."

Hoyd says his agency is looking at adding wifi to the tract's parking lot so troopers can submit paperwork while parked there. Hoyd says they're also looking to add a volleyball court or playground and touch up the pavilion, created by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.

New signs remind visitors that the park area is closed from dusk until dawn, though Hoyd says hunters who may be out late should call authorities so hunters' vehicle are not confused for criminal ones. Hoyd says the area's frequent hunters and horseback riders will be key in working with police to keep the area safe.

"Give them a call if you see something that looks suspicious or makes you feel uncomfortable," he says. "They will be ready to respond."

For more on the pavilion and the new law enforcement efforts, click here



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