KENOSHA -- It is 'game on' in Kenosha. The city removed basketball hoops at its largest park after numerous calls to police because of fighting. Saturday, June 13th, the hoops are going back up and the city plans to keep the peace.
Kenosha is bringing in new players to patrol the park and hopefully reduce violence on the court. As the city's mayor tells FOX6 News, taking down the hoops was never the solution.
Kenosha's Lincoln Park, has been a peaceful place.
The city's mayor, Keith Bosman, says since the hoops were taken down two weeks ago, police haven't been called to the park once. He says a Memorial Day fight was the last straw.
One of 18 fights reported in one month -- cell phone video of two subsequent arrests spread quickly online. Bosman says closing the courts was necessary.
"Not point fingers at what was going on but how can we make this park better for the neighborhood and better for the whole community," said Bosman.
This weekend, the backboards and baskets are going back in along with a new game plan to lower the number of problems -- like fighting.
The city is going to have a lot more eyes on Lincoln Park, including volunteers waiting court side and cameras up in the cheap seats.
"Just provide some supervision. And it's just a matter of us all communicating a little stronger," said Dennis Bedford, Director of Outreach for Kenosha's Boys and Girls Club.
Bedford says cameras will help but it's not the end game.
"It's about changing their attitude, getting these kids to feel like they have a spot, they are included into things," Bedford says.
Bedford adds it's not always young people causing problems.
"The positive thing about it is it's got the attention of a lot of people who have probably been sleeping," said Bedford.
For Mayor Keith Bosman, he hopes the new rules are successful in keeping the courts open and safe, however he won't know for sure until it all plays out.
"If the bad behavior continues we'll shut it down again," said Bosman.
There is a full afternoon of events planned surrounding the reopening of the Lincoln Park basketball courts. It all starts with a park cleanup, then remarks from the mayor and police department. And of course, a basketball game.