A few months ago, the City of Milton began a crackdown on skaters at the Skateboard Park who do not wear helmets while using the facility. There was even talk of closing the park down for 30 days at a time if those on skateboards didn't begin complying with helmet rules.
On Tuesday, the issue will come to a vote in council chambers, this time to put some muscle in the laws surrounding the park. If passed, the new amendment to the current city ordinance would grant police the authority to confiscate skateboards and issue $100 citations if skateboarders are found skating without a helmet."We have the rules," Milton Police Chief Gregory Brand said. "But it's a facade."
If passed, violators would have their skateboard taken and would have to pay a fine of $100 to retrieve their property from the police department.
"I ask that they give us the same authority that we have elsewhere, like the Veteran's Memorial Park" Milton Police Chief Gregory Brand said. "My objective is to get people to play by the rules.
Police have been restrained in carrying out the rules already in place, he said. The police lack the authority to enforce them because of the nature of the park itself.
Helmets are currently required, but some skateboarders choose not to wear them. Tensions surrounding the issue led to the park almost being shut down earlier this year.
"Put on a helmet and skate to your skate to your heart's content," Brand said. "All we ask is that you wear a helmet."
Brand says there has been increasing cooperation and compliance when it comes to skaters wearing helmets in the past three months. He nods to a change in officer approach to the situation, with the focus being on police presence and education in the park area.
"If you're skating in the parking lot, that is a prohibited area and we could confiscate," Brand said. "We haven't done that. I do want the authority to do things that will result in the most success."
Other changes are being considered as well as the confiscation. The council is discussing the possibility of allowing non-participating spectators into the park. Though, spectators would not be allowed on the concrete areas of the park. The change is aimed at addressing the safety of younger riders at the park with their parents.
Amendments to the ordinance will be discussed further, April 18, in the city council chambers.