Extra Miller Park Security for Tournament
Lynchburg, VA - Miller Park in Lynchburg's getting special attention from police this weekend. The big statewide Little League tournament is being played there, so a lot of people will be in that park, and organizers really don't want a big fight in the park again.
Remember Memorial Day? A brawl broke out, even ended in arrests, and all just yards away from a Little League game.
But, parents we talked with today feel much safer. And rightfully so. When, the Memorial Day fight happened, police, Little League organizers, the city all made changes to Miller Park's safety.
Two Lynchburg officers patrolling on bikes are the newest addition to Miller Park safety. Nine hour days, the next three days, and all out of the goodness of their heart; they're volunteering.
"Just trying to show our visibility and have a high presence in this area," said Lt. Greg Coleman, Lynchburg Police Dept.
While some work on two wheels, others use four. Lt. Greg Coleman with the Street Crimes Unit will be patrolling the park's perimeter from his squad car.
"So far, no problems. And we intend to keep it that way," said Lt. Coleman.
That's a relief for many. But, hard to forget how this beautiful park turned from funto a frenzy in little time. Last Memorial Day, this scene ended in four arrests, and Little League parents calling for a stronger police presence. Nearly two months later, Little League President Matt Combs calls it an "isolated incident" and sees progress since.
"I think the police and Parks and Rec have responded. If their budget would allow, I'm sure they would respond even better. But, I feel they're doing the best they can at this time, and now I feel pretty good about it," said Combs.
And for visiting teams, today's Miller Park looks as safe as any.
"Did you at all for any moment feel uneasy being in Miller Park?" we asked a parent from Louisa County. "Not at all, not at all," said Sally Agee.
"Everything's been pretty good," said Heather Nelson, Little League Parent from Louisa County.
That's reassuring for those like the Little League President who've worked tirelessly to make this tournament a hit.
"It seems that whatever's going on is working, I think," said Combs.
Lynchburg Parks and Rec. responded in its own way to the Memorial Day fight. They're ramping up their Share the Parks program. The next event is Saturday, July 27th from 3 - 6 p.m. and it's called Music at Miller. It's a family-friendly event with music, food, activities for kids like face painting and football camp sign-ups. Admission's free.