Degrading and potentially damaging behavior is occurring at the Hellertown Pool this summer–despite the fact that the borough recently spent thousands of dollars installing security cameras–and it’s because of a failure by some parents to instill respect for public property in their children, Hellertown Borough Council’s president said Monday.
Recently there have been incidents involving defecation in the pool’s changing rooms as well as incidents in which “things (have been) shoved down toilets that should not be shoved down toilets,” councilman Tom Rieger announced during the June 19 council meeting. “I’m not going to go into any more graphics than that.”
Rieger said he thinks the problems at the pool are a continuation of issues that began last summer, when local youths were purposely riding bicycles dangerously close to traffic in the borough.
“As far as parents…controlling their children and being role models, it does not exist today,” he opined during a discussion about a proposed basketball court that would be located next to the pool. “I don’t know what’s going on, but parents need to be parents, period.”
“Unfortunately, you can’t legislate behavior,” he added.
Borough officials confirmed that there are no cameras inside the pool restrooms.
The use of cameras in public restrooms is generally prohibited by law.
Despite the fact that there is no way to use surveillance to catch the person or persons defiling the bathrooms, Rieger said he is confident that the borough will find them and resolve the situation.
“The police force will do its best to find you,” he said, addressing the perpetrator or perpetrators. “You will be caught (and) you will be punished.”
There have been other behavioral incidents at the Hellertown Pool in recent years, including the theft of an ornamental garbage can lid and the temporary suspension of daily admissions due to unruly behavior by some patrons in June 2021.
In addition to the security cameras–which were also mentioned within the context of the basketball court discussion–borough police regularly patrol the pool area.
The pool opened for the 2023 summer season earlier this month, and is open daily from noon to 7 p.m., weather permitting. It is located at 575 Durham Street, near Dimmick Park.
For more information about the pool, including daily admission rates, season passes and pool rules, visit the parks & recreation section of the borough’s website.
Hellertown Borough Council meetings are generally held the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. The meetings are held in person at Hellertown Borough Hall, 685 Main St., Hellertown, and streamed live online via Zoom and Facebook. Recordings of the meetings are uploaded to the borough’s Facebook page and may be viewed there under Videos. Rieger’s remarks about the current problems at the pool begin at approximately 1:34:00 in the video upload of Monday night’s council meeting that is embedded below.