MOBILE – The city is taking steps to strengthen security at its recreation centers to safeguard citizens utilizing these facilities.

“We want our citizens to feel safe and welcome in our recreation centers,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “We are taking every step possible to ensure your experience is both relaxing and entertaining.”

The Mobile Police Department is conducting surveys of every location to recommend implementable strategies to secure the area. In addition to surveying the premises, police are collecting residential input by walking door to door and interviewing citizens who live in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Following up on these recommendations, the City of Mobile Parks and Recreation department is installing exterior lighting and camera systems. The camera feeds will be streamed in MPD’s new Joint Operations Center, an intelligence-based initiative designed to protect public venues.

Recreation staff members also supervise the facilities and anyone who exhibits violence is permanently banned from all City recreation centers. In addition to preventing crime on city property, these extra precautions are reducing crime in the surrounding areas as well.

The city currently owns and operates 18 recreation centers at the following locations: Dog River Park, Figures Park, Harmon-Thomas Park, Hillsdale Park, Hope Community Center, Laun Park, Lyons Park, Mitternight Park, Newhouse Park, Parkway SAIL Program, Rickarby Park, Seals Park, Springhill Recreation Center, Stotts Park, Sullivan Park, Trinity Gardens Park, Connie Hudson Regional Senior Center and Tricksey Senior Center.

“I encourage all of our citizens to take advantage of our many recreation centers,” Stimpson said. “From athletic centers to career development courses to dance classes, each center offers something for everyone.”