ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Paul Parks and Recreation is reviewing it’s security protocols after a group of teens between the ages of 12 to 16 made threats to other patrons and staff at Como Regional Park Pool.
The incident took place on opening day at the pool this past weekend. People who frequent the pool are hoping it doesn’t happen again.
“It’s a great place to go for the Summer, we live nearby and we’ve had a pass for three Summers,” said Ryan Allen-Gooder.
For Allen-Gooder, his sister and two friends, the Como Regional Park Pool is the place to be when it’s hot outside.
“It’s the only pool in St. Paul that has a zip line and cliff diving,” Allen-Gooder said.
On opening day, Saturday, there was a big crowd at Como Pool and a small group of kids who made things uncomfortable. According to St. Paul police, four to six juveniles were making threats to other customers. They also verbally threatened staff.
Although no one was physically assaulted, staff members asked the kids to leave the pool.
“The lifeguards and the supervisors here have always done a fabulous job personally I blame the kids that are misbehaving, and whoever was supposed to be here supervising them,” said Amy Gooder.
But the trouble-making kids returned, and staff called police.
In a statement, Park and Rec director Mike Hahm said: “Staff handled the situation exactly as I would expect by asking for assistance when it became necessary. Our internal Park Security maintains a presence in the area.”
But mothers like Amy Gooder says it will take more than security to make sure everyone enjoying the water is safe.
“So we have to work together as a team. I’ve seen kids running and I’ve said ‘Hey guys don’t run, be careful,’ and a mom would come over and say thank you. I was working with another kid, it takes a village,” Gooder said.
Director Hahm says it’s unfortunate that the behavior of a small few can cast a cloud over what was otherwise a positive and busy season opener.