Salisbury Township Commissioner Joanne Ackerman recently answered a knock on her door to find a 9-year-old girl who handed her a letter.
The letter described how the girl and her mother riding bicycles past Green Acres Park felt uncomfortable because of loud screaming and cursing from the basketball players on the park’s courts.
Ackerman read the letter aloud at at last week's commissioners meeting. “When I was riding with my mom I got scared right away so we went riding somewhere else,” the girl wrote. “When I got home I started to cry.”
Ackerman, who lives next to the park, said other neighbors have also complained about the noise level. As many as 50 players have been counted at one time on the park’s two full courts and several half courts.
“Now I’m getting letters from little kids about this,” Ackerman said. “When the basketball players are all there it’s very bad. I wish we could work something out.
“They throw their trash all over the place, they curse and they urinate openly, with little kids there,” said Ackerman. When she approached players to speak with them, they cursed at her, she said.
Township Manager Randy Soriano said township police are aware of the problem, but the township’s recreation advisory committee says it’s not a chronic problem. Ackerman said the board had been discussing the problem for three years.
Robert Martucci Jr., board vice president, reminded the board the police department is down one officer as well as the community police officer due to budget cuts. “Whenever you have a park, it’s a touchy thing to remedy. The community police officer used to ride around there.”
Board President James Brown suggested talking to township’s police chief and asking him to step up patrols in the area.