By Ed Harris
Town officials are holding a community forum on vandalism later this month.
According to officials, Southington has experienced an increase in vandalism and they are looking to residents and youth groups for help.
“We want to start the conversation,” said Town Councilor Dawn Miceli, adding that while she does not think that Southington has any more or any less of an issue with vandalism than other communities in the state, that it does not mean that the town can not be proactive.
Miceli, along with Town Manager Garry Brumback, Police Chief Jack Daly, YMCA Executive Director John Myers, STEPS coordinator Kelly Leppard and members of the STEPS Youth Council will lead the discussion.
Some of the topics up for discussion include images of vandalism, why it is a problem in town, why do vandals vandalize and what should happen to vandals if they are caught by the police.
“We’re trying to think beyond normal police work,” Brumback said, adding that police have been doing all that they can.
Brumback added that the forum was to reassure the public that officials were looking into the matter and to let everyone know that the town cannot curb the issue of vandalism on its own.
According to town officials, the ice rink (hit twice in the last month), the Southington Drive-in, areas on the linear trail and a few businesses in town have had vandalism issues in the last few months.
The forum is slated for Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers in Town Hall. The public is encouraged to attend.