Richmond Police cracking down on rule-breaking at James River Parks

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Police are again patrolling James River Parks, putting out a promotional video to warn visitors to be safe and smart while spending time in the sun.

Last weekend, police did a ‘safety blitz’ at parks including Belle Isle that lead to eight open container misdemeanors, 29 parking tickets, and 116 citizen contacts. There were also two radio calls for disorderly conduct involving juveniles.

Police say from every April until September they are patrolling the parks because of the warmer temperatures. Some city leaders say they’ve received complaints — especially when it comes to Belle Isle.

Some visitors say they haven’t felt unsafe.

“I guess safety is always good but I’ve never felt like there was anything weird going on here,” Callie Hlavin, a Belle Isle visitor said.

David Hawxhurst says some kids tried to steal things from the people he was with.

“I have had a bad experience a while back here,” Hawxhurst said. “I was with a family and they set some stuff aside, taking a picture and they tried to take it, I ran after them.”

Hawxhurst says he’s glad police are continuing to patrol.

“You know them doing patrols on the island is a good thing,” said Tanner Hurley, another Belle Isle visitor. “Every time I come, like if there are people that are drinking, I don’t really notice them and if I do, you know it’s kind of their own business.”

Richmond Police say if you see something, you should report it. Open containers and glass containers are prohibited, and police say to leave alcohol at home.

Click here to see a full list of rules for visiting James River Parks.

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