A softball coach in Whalley says a local park normally busy with kids practicing their pitch has been overrun by drug addicts.
Ryan Slattery, who has coached at the Whalley Athletic Park for eight years, says there are needles, garbage and condoms strewn throughout the field.
The park on 105A Avenue and University Dr is home to Whalley Little League and has a number of baseball fields, an indoor batting cage, a mini-soccer field and a playground.
Slattery says the situation has gotten worse in the last year.
PHOTO GALLERY: Garbage around Whalley Athletic Park
He says some addicts lock themselves in the facility’s washrooms, keeping parents and children away.
Recently, a drugged-out man stumbled onto the field and tried to ‘coach’ a team of eight-year-olds.
When he refused to leave, police were called in and the man had to be Tasered.
On top of that, Slattery says all of their locks have been stolen, and break-and-enters are common.
Some of their softball equipment has also gone missing.
Slattery says he is afraid for his own safety.
“It is a black eye for Whalley,” says Slattery. “It is a miniature East Hastings, but they don’t have kids playing there.”
He wants to see authorities get involved.
“The provincial government has to step up to the plate and realize it is not just our problem.”
Global News has received the following statement from the RCMP:
While we understand and are aware of some of the challenges associated to this specific area, our Patrol Officers, Community Safety Officers and Auxiliary members continue to be fully engaged in meeting with and listening to our Community’s concerns.”
These same officers as well as the District Commander meet on a monthly basis with representatives from the Whalley Community Improvement Association to address any safety issues that may arise. While we sometimes see isolated incidents, the Association, including a representative from the Fastball League have reported an overall and steady improvement in safety for this specific area and in all of Whalley.