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Addressing the perception of a need for guns in city parks

Candy Johnson, City Council Ward 5
Candy Johnson, City Council Ward 5

I received some emails from people who expressed concerns abut the city council opting out of the state guns in Parks bill,  which I along with some of my constituents think is a good decision for our community. The theme amongst those who are in favor of allowing guns in parks seems to be that they are worried about safety in our parks. This is not backed up by the statistics, so I have attached a list of the crimes committed in parks as reported to the Police Department since January.

In 11 of our parks there were no crimes reported, and in the others there were just a few. I think providing some information on the safety of our parks will provide some relief to those who are concerned. I will continue to oppose allowing guns in our parks, as a matter of ensuring the safety of our children. I would hate to see a permit holder get into an argument at a park with someone,  and then instead of calling the police  take matters into their own hands, and innocent bystanders get hurt.

Our public safety department is here to help citizens deal with these situations. Of the type of incidents reported, very few involved weapons. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Parks with no crimes

The following parks had no reported crimes from January 1st – July 14th, 2009

  • Billy Dunlop Park
  • Bel-Air Park
  • Burchett Park
  • Coy Lacy Park
  • Dixon Park
  • Ft. Defiance
  • Mericourt Park
  • Lettie P. Kendall Park
  • Patriot Park
  • Sevier Park
  • Sherwood Forest Park

Parks with crimes

The following parks had incidents of crime reported between from January 1st – July 14th, 2009

  • Airport Park had one incident of vandalism
  • Ashton Park had a case of assault
  • Burchwood Park had a theft
  • Dalewood Park had an incident involving drugs, and a misc offense on another date.
  • Edith Pettus Park had one incident of vandalism
  • Fairgrounds Park had a vehicle theft, vandalism, and a theft.
  • Heritage Park had two incidents of vandalism, one incident of burglary, and one misc offense
  • McGregor Park had three incidents of vandalism,  one drunkenness, one intimidation, and two misc offenses
  • Smith Ballfields had one assault, and one misc offense.
  • Stokes field had one assault,  one intimidation, one theft from buildings,  and two misc offenses.
  • The Swan Lake Sports Complex had a case of theft of motor vehicle parts.
  • Trice Landing Park had a misc offense.
  • Valleybrook Park had the most serious incidents including, two incidents involving drugs, three involving alcohol, one robbery, one arson,  and one misc offense.
Candy Johnson
Candy Johnson
Candy Johnson is a Clarksville native. She is married to Bryan Johnson, and they have one daughter. Mrs. Johnson has a BA in Public Management with a minor in leadership studies from Austin Peay State University, she also received a Master of Public Administration degree from Murray State University. She is employed by the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, and currently represents Ward 5 in the Clarksville City Council. She is a member of the Finance, Parks and Recreation, and Community Housing Committees for the City of Clarksville, serves on the Animal Control Board for Montgomery County, and volunteers on several community boards. Candy is an active member of Fifth Ward Missionary Baptist Church. She is a member of several professional organizations including but not limited to Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honors Society, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and Order of Omega greek honors Society.


  1. Thanks for providing the readers with the facts about how little crime actually occurs in the city’s parks. These facts should quell the argument that people to to arm themselves in a park to protect themselves.
    The fall back argument for pro-gun advocates, is that they have a constitutional right to carry anywhere.

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