POLAND TWP. ATV patrol warns riders
So far, there have been six warnings issued.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
POLAND -- The township's ATV patrol has issued its first warnings to locals who cause damage and noise disturbance while riding four-wheeled cycles across private property.
Jeanne Diorio, part of the group developing new housing in the Clingan Road area, said four-wheel cycle riders had been coming through the area at various times of the day and night, making noise and riding wild.
Diorio said there was recently damage done to a portable bathroom and a trailer there.
"We do not want them on the property," said Diorio. "They are destructive and probably don't realize they are riding on private property, but they are."
Fighting back: Now, four township officers -- riding all-terrain vehicles donated by various township residents -- have strapped on helmets. They've headed into the township's wooded areas in an attempt to give peace to residents like Diorio.
Two weeks into the program, Diorio said she can already tell the difference in the decreased number of four wheelers in the area. Officers issued six written warnings to riders in the northeast section of the township.
Punishment: Police Chief Carl Massullo said those caught trespassing will likely receive a warning the first time. Should an individual be caught a second or third time, Massullo said officers could take a different course of action including arrest.
Massullo said the department had to find a way of dealing with the number of complaints from residents about ATVs on private property.
"All the added enforcement has been predicated by citizens' complaints, and we believe that this is the most effective way to deal with those complaints," he said.
The township police department will receive help from the Mahoning Valley Trail Dogs, a crew of ATV enthusiasts. The main focus is to acclimate riders to the rules of riding ATVs.
Massullo said officers will be on ATV patrols on randomly selected days and times. The focus will be mainly in the northeast section of the township bordered by Clingan Road, U.S. Route 224, the Struthers line and the Pennsylvania state line.
He said the department will continue the program as long as riders continue to cruise across private property.
Patrolman Tom Johnson said ATV use has become an increased problem here because Pennsylvania police stopped cyclists from using an area of limestone quarries, a haven for four-wheel cyclists, in nearby Hillsville, Pa. Once that area was closed, Johnson said local riders brought their fun a little closer to home.