Categories: News

Police address dirt-bike issues at ESNA meeting

By Adam Swift

Police are preparing for the waves of ATV, dirt bike, and other nuisance motorists that typically hit the streets during the summer.

During the regular police presentation during this month’s Egleston Square Neighborhood Association (ESNA), member Dan Newman asked what residents should do if they see the dirt bikes or ATVs driving through Franklin Park or other parts of the neighborhood.

Officer Omar Cepeda from District E-13 said that last summer, the department began putting extra effort into the issue of illegal vehicles and bikes on the streets and established a special task force. Cepeda urged anyone who saw the vehicles to immediately contact the police.

Officer David Murray, the traffic officer for E-13, said the new squad has had some success, with a sting last August that resulted in $20,000 in citations being issued and about 15 vehicles being impounded.

“We are obviously not allowed to chase, we can’t do that if they are on a moped and take off from us we are not going to chase them through the city,” said Murray. “It would cause a lot of issues safety-wise.”

Murray said the department is always keeping an eye on where the vehicles originate from, and that it is important for residents to report that information if they have it.

Capt. Rich Driscoll of E-13 agreed.

“One of the things that you want to put out to people is if they see where these bikes or ATVS are emanating from, whether a residence or some sort of trailer, that information is huge, because then we can be proactive,” said Driscoll.

Driscoll said the department is also taking some other preventative measures to address the issue, including using some money in the budget to put gates in certain areas of the city to limit access for the nuisance vehicles.

Cepeda noted that during the summer, certain smaller streets in the neighborhood, including South, Walk Hill, and Morton streets, are shut down during the overnight hours.

“It is part of the plan so that they are not going through them and they have to use the main roads, which they don’t want to because they are exposed to us,” said Cepeda.

Gazette Staff:
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