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Spring break safety stressed at Wetlands Park in east Las Vegas

Updated April 12, 2019 - 5:47 pm

Spring break is meant to be a good time. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a safe time, too.

That was the message officials pushed at Clark County Wetlands Park ahead of spring break for public school students.

Officials said kids have historically used the east valley park as a place to party and vandalize property. With the Clark County School District’s break beginning Friday, officials gathered at the park Thursday morning to remind students and parents to enjoy the time off safely.

“Don’t plan to come out here and do something that’s inappropriate,” Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom said at a media briefing, “but do plan to come out here, because you can see it’s just a gorgeous place.”

Local law enforcement formed a coalition and increased patrols at the park after the 2015 shooting death of 17-year-old Geovany Garcia after a party-turned-fight at the park.

Capt. John Liberty, who oversees the Metropolitan Police Department jurisdiction that partially includes the 2,900-acre park, said there has been a “significant reduction” in vandalism since efforts were stepped up at the wetlands.

The park is also a popular spot for target shooting; complaints of illegal shootings are one of the more common calls Metro receives at the park, a news release said.

While shooting calls have dropped, Liberty cautioned, houses border the park and it remains “extremely unsafe” to shoot there.

“Clark County has many designated shooting ranges and locations to safely shoot,” Liberty said. “Please don’t make the wetlands one of them.”

He reminded parents to know where their children are hanging out, monitor their social media and ask them questions. Many parties are advertised on social media under a number of nicknames for the park, such as “Little Mexico,” Liberty said.

The school district wants the community to take advantage of the park, but it’s not a place for unapproved social gatherings, School Board Trustee Linda Cavazos said.

“We’re looking forward to our kids having a great spring break and then coming back to school,” she said.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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