Future memorials for deceased loved ones in Rapid City parks could soon face tougher standards. But the plans are only in the discussion stage and most of the changes will most likely be to clarify those standards.
The model of a proposed memorial to fallen Officers Nick Armstrong and Ryan McCandless will stand close to 14 feet high.
"It was requested by their family and will be placed in Founders Park. It has significant meaning to the families, to us, and we hope it will have significant meaning to the community, said Steve Allender, Rapid City Chief of Police.
While the Police Department got the 'green' light from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, projects of this size could soon face tougher standards.
"Those large ones have an impact on the entire community. Everybody who visits the park is going to see that memorial and is it going to be one that will be accepted by the entire community, said Lon Van Deusen, the Parks Division Manager.
Van Deusen says the board is not discouraging memorials and even encourages ones such as benches, trees, and plaques.
"Those are very useful items in the park and we're certainly receptive to receiving those types of donations to the park system," said Van Deusen.
Van Deusen says the board wants to take a closer look at a new memorial policy and a public art policy. The goal is to clarify the language and make sure it's something the public agrees with.
"The board members would like to see a better system at evaluating the memorials and the requests too; to make sure they are significant to the community and they are accepted by the entire community," said Van Deusen.
A decision Chief Allender agrees with and says it's an important step to help preserve the parks.
"They have to make certain decisions and regulations to protect the park. And we support that, to preserve the parks for the future," said Chief Allender.
While the plaques and memorials are all paid for by the family or organization that requests them, Van Deusen says the City doesn't have any type of policy in place concerning long term maintenance.
An issue the board is looking into solving as well.