Star Staff Reports
Recently, three Munford juveniles were taken into custody by the Millington Police Department and charged with vandalism they committed in a city park and an adjoining city neighborhood. The three teenage young men found themselves facing felony vandalism charges in Shelby County Juvenile Court after Millington Police detectives identified them thanks to tips and information received from the community.
“I have a clear message for any vandal. If you vandalize Millington parks, you will be caught and you will be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law,” said Kate Armitage, Director Millington Arts, Recreation and Parks. “Millington parks and public spaces are a tremendous asset in our community and exist for the public to enjoy. Vandalism and destruction of these areas will not be tolerated…period.”
In response to several acts of vandalism at various locations, covert electronic surveillance devices were installed in common areas of the park. A subsequent video recorded the acts of vandalism but after concerted attempts by detectives to positively identify the suspects through local contacts failed, MPD turned to social media. Placing a portion of the surveillance video onto a social media website garnered more than 30,000 hits in the first 48 hours and generated tips to detectives which lead to the positive identification of the juvenile suspects.
“These acts of vandalism in our city park create an unnecessary drain on city resources,” Millington Police Chief Frank Tennant said. “The costs of clean up and/or repairs alone can sometimes be in the thousands of dollars. Dollars that could be spent on more productive services to benefit our community.”
MPD routinely utilizes available surveillance video footage to identify criminal acts and suspects. Several local retail businesses make video footage from their security systems available to officers who are investigating reports of criminal acts. The use of both public and private security video has become a welcomed tool for officers to further investigations into a variety of incidents that have included assaults, vandalism, burglaries, thefts and traffic accidents.