Fingerprints Now Required At Poway Skate Park

New Security Measure Took Effect Friday Evening

A popular skate park in Poway unveiled a new security measure Friday that is being met with some opposition.

At the Poway Skate Park, surveillance cameras capture the every move of every visitor. Additionally, motion detectors are also present and a wrought iron fence surrounds the park. Some visitors said the security measures are a bit much.

"This is the only facility, I'd say, in the San Diego area that has this big reinforcement around it and the turnstile. I've been here when law enforcement causes problems for kids. They come in here and everyone panics, they start feverishly running and they get hurt on the bowls," said skater Doug Marker.

Up until 6 p.m. Friday, skaters could simply walk right through and pretty much do whatever they want.

After 6 p.m., however, a fingerprint scan will be required in order to enter the skate park. Skaters will have to register their fingerprints and have a photo taken in advance.

City officials said the new security measure will allow law enforcement to determine who was at the park if something were to happen there. The city also said the added security measure is an effort to stop an increase in vandalism, drug use and break ins that have plagued the park for the last five years.

"This is a city park; it has to be returned to the citizens. We want kids in here, we want adults in here, we want a secure, safe environment; this is not a free-for-all," said Poway City Councilman Jim Cunningham.

"If they didn't have all this here, they wouldn't need it because the thrill of climbing the fence and spray painting and stuff like that wouldn't be here," said skater David Hamm.

Some parents 10News spoke to said all the security still won't be enough.

"I think what they really need is to have someone supervise, but I don't know if that is possible," said parent Michelle Keeler.

City officials said staffing full-time supervision would cost around $80,000 a year and is not possible financially at this time.

The park cost $1 million to build in 2003, and all of the security upgrades will cost around $91,000.