County Supervisor Ron Roberts says security for Waterfront Park is worth $2.3M price tag

Waterfront Park is free of graffiti and loitering

SAN DIEGO - The cost to keep the new Waterfront Park at the Embarcadero secure is being questioned, but a county official who pushed to build the park told 10News the spending is justified.

San Diego County came under fire recently for spending $2.3 million a year on security for the new Waterfront Park, which is located near the County Administration Building.

The park is patrolled 24 hours a day by a private security firm and sheriff's deputies.

San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who has supported the project for years, said security is at the park to enforce "real basic rules that don't get in the way of having fun."

However, some visitors complained the security was too much for a children's playground. The guards regular warn children and adults not to block the water jets in the park's signature fountains. Even 10News reporter Joe Little was warned while shooting his story on Thursday.

Roberts said almost 2,000 people visit the park every day, and he added, "If they were overburdened with security, they'd be voting with their feet and they'd be out of here."

Graffiti and trash are nowhere to be found at the park, and no homeless are seen loitering there. Those problems plague the nearby Children's Park in downtown.

"That's not a park for kids in any way, shape or form," said Roberts.

Roberts added the snack bar in the middle of the park should be opening within the next month.

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