UPDATE: City returning basketball hoops to Fisk Park - WBAY

UPDATE: City returning basketball hoops to Fisk Park

Green Bay - The Green Bay City Parks Committee is bringing the basketball hoops back to Fisk Park.

The basketball hoops were removed last year in an effort to stop the fighting and criminal activity on the courts at the west-side park. It was never meant to be a permanent solution.

At Wednesday's meeting, the parks committee discussed ways to keep the park safe and put the hoops back.

On August 1st, the hoops will be installed. Police are given the authority to take them down if they feel it's important to act right away.

Lights in the park will shut off at 10 P.M.

Fisk Park is still hugely popular with kids and young people. It was Game Day on Wednesday, so the city Parks and Rec. Department brought portable basketball hoops for kids to use throughout the day, but we saw kids just using the backboards.
Because Fisk Park is so popular, the police department is working closely with the community to find a way to keep the park crime-free and ensure recreation for the community .Before

The rims were removed a year ago, Green Bay Police say Fisk Park's basketball court was home to violent criminal activity.

"It starts out with maybe 2 or 3 people, and then it grows and grows, and the next thing you know we have 40 or 50 people involved in some of these fights," Captain Bill Bongle explained at the Parks Committee meeting.

When the hoops disappeared, the crime did, too, but the solution was supposed to be temporary.

"The police officers did not take the rims down. The behavior of the people took those rims down," said Terry Cook, spokesperson for the Divine Temple Church of God in Christ.

The local church has partnered with police to find alternate solutions.

"We're not gonna to kid ourselves here. Those police calls were the majority from African-American people, so we as the church over there, being predominantly African-American, are speaking to these children and their parents," Cook said.

"We know that there are good people out there who like to play basketball and who deserve to play basketball, and frankly I do not want to penalize those people," Bongle said.

Police will continue to work with community groups to keep the park safe, but can remove the hoops once again if they feel it is necessary. 

It's a decision Cook feels is a good one.

"If I was in charge of Fisk Park, I don't care what color you are, you can be clear, this behavior will not be acceptable anywhere so we speak for the people, not just African-American people, good people, good-hearted people who just want to enjoy Fisk Park or any other park," said Cook.

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