To recap: Last Tuesday, it was revealed that Milwaukee County Parks had written a letter to the developer of Pokemon Go, Niantic, Inc., asking for the removal of PokeStops from Lake Park. Later that day, the Milwaukee County Executive office clarified that what it really meant was that Niantic should pay a permit fee to cover the various damages and inconveniences the park had accrued due to the game. The following day, the Milwaukee County “Exeggutor” himself, Chris Abele, released his own Poke-pun-filled statement. And now, yes, here’s another statement from Milwaukee County Parks on the whole Pokemon Go thing. Enjoy!
August 30, 2016
Dear Pokémon Go Players, Fans and Supporters,
We understand that there has been confusion in the community as to Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation & Culture’s (DPRC) stance on Pokémon Go. To be clear, we are not asking for Niantic to remove Pokémon Go sites from Milwaukee County Parks, nor are we asking Pokémon Go players to apply for a permit. Rather, we would like to partner with Niantic, celebrating the successes of the game and working together to manage both respect for our parks and neighbors. Not limited to Lake Park, this worldwide fad is generating headlines with much of the discussion geared towards a positive trend of being outdoors, unprecedented levels of social interaction, and public safety concerns. With these positives comes the County’s responsibility to keep our community and environment safe.
Of all the news to come out about Pokémon Go, the most positive is how it is bringing people together. I have personally spent time in Lake Park watching Pokémon fans strolling, laughing, talking and sharing tips with each other. People have found new ways to engage with one another that have never happened before. A sense of community has exploded in ways nobody could have possibly imagined. It’s as if people have rediscovered what a walk in the park is all about – and this is something to be celebrated!
I am confident that our parks staff, in cooperation with law enforcement officials, will continue to provide excellent service, as is their standard operating procedure. Based on my personal observations and staff feedback, I see that our parks are being used as they are intended. Lake Park is an urban park located within walking distance of thousands of people who have the right to enjoy this public space.
Certainly I am concerned about any type of unlawful behavior in our parks and the Sheriff’s Office is proactively working with neighbors to monitor Lake Park. You are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 414-278-4788 when you witness ordinance violations. The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for violations in County parks and the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) is responsible for the street violations. If the violation is within city jurisdiction, the Sheriff’s Office will contact MPD for assistance.
You make our parks a success: please remember to pay attention to park closing hours, place trash in the proper containers or take it with you, abide by parking restrictions, and be considerate of fellow park patrons and neighbors.
Play the game, enjoy the parks, and keep it safe, clean and accessible!
John Dargle, Jr., Director
Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation & Culture
9480 Watertown Plank Road
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
And here’s yet another statement, in image form: