An Illinois park has reported no crimes since they took down basketball hoops in August last year in an effort to deter criminals following a few summer shootings at late-night basketball games.
It has been reported that there is currently no intention to bring back the hoops at the Rock Island park.
Now, Lincoln Park has now been dubbed a “quiet area” by neighbors, whose opinions concerning the hoops have been polarized.
According to WQAD, police confirmed that no crimes have been reported in the six months since the decision to take down the hoops.
Gun violence was reported to police following late-night games in August 2018, and May and August 2019, prompting the removal, as police patrols had to be increased in the area to reduce violent episodes and vulgar behavior.
Parks and Recreation Executive Director, John Gripps said at the time of the removal, “What bothers me the most is that 80% – 90% of the people that are going there are following the rules, being respectful and being good citizens. We’ve got a small group that’s ruining it for the bunch.”
Following the initial removal, Gripps received a flurry of backlash, but he assured critics that race, religion, or even basketball had nothing to do with the decision.
He said, “This is not a Rock Island problem, this is not a park problem, this is not a Quad City problem, this is a criminal problem and were not going to take it anymore.”
Gripps has also reported plenty of feedback as he speculates on the future of the park as the removal of the hoops was supposedly a temporary fix to curb gun violence.
Understanding both sides of the debate, Gripps said, “It’s pretty split down the middle, that the rims should be re-installed or they should stay forever gone.”
On the side of reinstalling the hoops, two half-courts for children have been suggested as a measured proposal as a similar tactic was used in the 90’s to minimize crime.
The addition of a security guard or CCTV have also been proposed