Police Authorized to Stop and Seize Illegal Operated ATVs and Dirt Bikes
In recent months, the illegal use of ATVs and dirt bikes on the City of Providence’s streets and in its parks has become a growing concern. The illegal operation of these vehicles threatens the safety and quality of life of Providence residents. On July 20, 2017, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution, sponsored by Council Majority Whip Jo-Ann Ryan, establishing an ATV Task Force and dedicated Tip Line, based on best practices from Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC.
The City Council has worked with the Providence Police Department (PPD) to strengthen existing legislation on ATV and dirt bike enforcement. However, there is a misconception that still exists that PPD has a strict “no-chase policy” regarding ATVs and dirt bikes. No such prohibition exists and Police Officers are authorized to pursue ATVs and dirt bikes, and other illegally operated vehicles according to PPD Policy.
“As with any law enforcement action, officers are trained to use their best judgment in these situations,” said Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5). “Our officers are empowered to pursue, stop, and seize unlawfully operated vehicles.”
Chief of Police, Colonel Hugh T. Clements reiterated that there is not a “no chase” policy for ATVs and dirt bikes, stating, “The Providence Police has a Pursuit Policy, when illegally operated ATV`s flee from the streets into city Parks there is a danger to pursuit. PPD has been utilizing the newly created task force to catch and stop ATV`s being illegally operated on our city streets.” Colonel Clements added, “continued support from city residents notifying the Tip Line of these hot spot areas will play a key role in enforcement”.
To support its legislative work the Council made provisions to set aside $300,000 in the fiscal year 2018 budget for traffic and nuisance control funding. The PPD will utilize a portion of these funds for ATV enforcement. The Council continues to work with the PPD to develop operational support for the Task Force, establish the Tip Line and explore new approaches and enhancements to ATV enforcement.
The Providence City Council’s Finance Committee tonight recommended passage of the City’s Capital Improvement Plan, a 5 year infrastructure investment schedule designed to address the needs of city streets, sidewalks, public buildings, parks and recreation centers.
Years one and two of the plan include $48,507,200 worth of infrastructure projects to be funded by various mechanisms including a 45 million dollar infrastructure bond, the city’s general fund, the master lease and the lighting master lease.
“The plan is the result of the Council and the Administration working together for the public good,” said Finance Committee Chairman John Igliozzi. “The proposed plan equitably considers and addresses neighborhood needs and concerns citywide, and I’m happy to see much-needed infrastructure improvements planned to improve the quality of life for Providence residents.”
“The Council and the Administration are jointly concerned about the need for infrastructure investments in the Capital City,” said Acting Council Sabina Matos. “This plan is the result of leadership and diligent efforts to address infrastructure needs both immediately, and over the next 5 years.”
“Now is the prudent time to borrow,” said Majority Whip Joann Ryan (Ward 5). “We have an improved bond rating, we have a positive rainy day fund balance for the first time in years and we have a plan to strategically invest limited resources in every neighborhood. I support this Capital Improvement Bond.”
“By approving a 5 year Capital Improvement Plan, we can be proactive about repairs and maintenance, instead of waiting until things break to fix them,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “This comprehensive plan is the product of collaboration between the administration and the Providence City Council as we plan for the long term. With this in place, we are ready to invest in our future.
Councilman Nicholas Narducci (Ward 4) is pleased to welcome Opera Providence and the “Celebrate Providence! Neighborhood Performing Arts Initiative” coordinated by the Providence Art, Culture & Tourism Department in collaboration with the Department of Parks & Recreation and Partnership for Providence Parks. The upcoming performances by Opera Providence, a local arts organization with the mission of “engaging and inspiring audiences through opera as the ultimate theater experience of music”, will be held at Hopkins Square on Charles Street at 5 PM on Sunday July 9, July 16, July 23 and July 30.
Providence’s Art, Culture & Tourism Department states, “the weekly themes and selections will showcase music from Latin America, Italy and America while providing a festive and welcoming atmosphere to opera fans and those experiencing the genre for the first time.” Councilman Narducci adds that “the event offers community members in Ward 4 an opportunity to celebrate and engage with the performing arts in a family-friendly atmosphere.” The event is free and open to the public.