The group of professionals, including doctors, lawyers and teachers, circle the track about 5:30 a.m. They finish by 6:30 a.m. and are gone by the time school opens, Segal said.

The police officers waited for the group to finish running, then got out and explained they weren't to go on the track again without permission. Future violators faced arrest, Segal said the group was told.

Gerry Koziel, director of risk management for the district, said the problem is a matter of liability. Gated facilities like the Citrus Bowl and football, soccer and baseball fields cannot be used by the general public, he said.

The School Board also passed in January a tight facility-use policy requiring groups that use district amenities to show proof of insurance and sign hold-harmless agreements. Rental fees are charged for some organizations hosting nonschool-related events, he said.

Segal said he talked with Koziel on Friday and an agreement may be reached between the runners and the district. Members of the group will submit proof of insurance and sign a hold-harmless waiver so they can use the track, Segal said.

Koziel said other districts throughout the state have had to lock facilities because they have been sued when someone has been injured. No such case has occurred in Indian River County, he said.

He said gates at the Citrus Bowl always have been locked. Some people have jumped the fences, and previously many people had keys to the locks, he said. Since January, "no trespassing" signs have been posted and locks have been changed with keys given to only a few people, he said.

Members of the running group repeatedly have been told not to jump the gate at the Citrus Bowl, Koziel said. The district called law enforcement as a last resort, he said.

Not all facilities are under lock and key, he said. Elementary school playgrounds can be used after school hours and youth sports teams can use elementary school fields for practice, he said.

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