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City Council responds to graffiti incident at Joliet park

The city of Joliet was notified Tuesday of a graffiti incident at a city park, which prompted several elected officials to respond to the matter.

At approximately 3:28 p.m. Aug. 2, the Joliet Police Department received a call from a resident reporting graffiti in a park on Joliet’s west side. Deputy Chief Ed Gregory said officers responded to the park, near Indian Head and Old Renwick Trail, and found graffiti depicting vulgar language, racial slurs, a swastika and other permanent markings.

During the Joliet City Council’s meeting later that evening, Mayor Bob O’DeKirk told the council that some “nasty graffiti” was spray painted at the park.

“That type of behavior is not welcome and is not going to be tolerated in our city,” O’DeKirk said. “This country’s going through some difficult times; it really has avoided Joliet so far. I just call upon the reasonable people in our community to keep their heads, keep the cool and keep this stuff where it belongs—and that’s not inside Joliet.”

Councilwoman Bettye Gavin mirrored that sentiment, saying what’s transpired could place the city and its people in a very “volatile situation.” She said the Joliet community is stronger when people work together.

“We’re a city of love, and we’re a city of champions,” she said. “We do better when we all work together. Let us work together to keep the peace and keep the safety of our residents.”

Councilman Larry Hug, who represents District 1 where the incident occurred, noted that he’s already received a number of calls from residents regarding the graffiti, and said the city will not let divisive actions split the people.

“As a city, we’re not going to stand for it anywhere in this city,” Hug said. “We’ll always stand together.”

Gregory said the city is looking to clean up the graffiti as soon as possible.

Police are still in the process of investigating the matter, but the deputy chief said there are currently no witnesses or suspects.

Until now, the city has not had any similar incidents, according to Gregory. In response to a question about increasing patrols, he cautioned that this was an isolated incident and the department has no plans to add officers.


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