Police in Springfield, Massachusetts have declared zero tolerance for the urban nuisance of illegal dirt bike operators.
Undercover police officers riding motorcycles and bicycles have been deployed to Springfield’s North End neighborhood with orders to roundup gangs of youths riding dirt bikes illegally on city streets and terrorizing motorists.
Acting Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood ordered the crackdown after a dirt bike rider hurled a chunk of concrete at a police officer’s head and smashed a brick through the rear window of a police cruiser.
" That brought out some anger," Clapprood said in an interview Thursday. "If that is the game plan they have, then we have to step up our game."
The Springfield City Council recently petitioned the state legislature to allow police to seek a court-ordered forfeiture of confiscated dirt bikes.
The Council also gave initial approval to an ordinance to greatly stiffen penalities for recklessly operating dirt bikes. A second offense could carry a maximium fine of $2,500.