City Council Gives Nod to Trespass Ordinance at Riverwalk

The ordinance passed the council on first reading and will come up for final approval at the next council meeting.

After more than two dozen calls for help, 83 traffic stops and 54 calls for back up at Riverwalk's skate park, officers asked the City Council for a new tool in keeping the park safe for skaters.

The city council passed a first draft of a new ordinance that will allow officers to issue trespass citations at the public park that could ban certain trouble makers for as long as a year.

A. J. Cerniglia, a master patrol officer with the Bradenton Police Department, was grateful to have another tool to help put an end to the problems at the skate park. He said the biggest complaint is about kids fighting. Although he said some of the skaters have reported having bkes, skate boards and back packs stolen while they are skating in the park.

He said there are times as many as 500 people will congrgate at the park and police have seen several fights break out at once. Officers patrolling the are have to call for back up, taking officers away from other areas. On at least three occasions, Cerniglia said the police have had to shut down the park.

Cerniglia and city council members were clear to point out that the problem doesn't appear to be those actually coming to the park to skate, rather it is from kids just coming to hang out.

The new proposal will allow officers to ban anyone who causes trouble or starts a fight for up to a year. If they are caught at the park again in that time they can be taken to jail.

"We want the park to be a success and we want the skate boarders to have a good time," Cerniglia said. In order to make sure that happens being able to tell those who cause problems that they can't come back is essential, he added.

depadova January 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM
This park is so beautiful . . . May be the young people need a pass to come inside !!!!! I was there last week-end and it was a show to look at these skaters . . . Good luck to keep this place save and clean !
Chris Cantwell January 10, 2013 at 03:11 PM
I think this new ordinance will help the issues that non-skaters/park riders are causing without having to penalize, tax & limit access to the park users as you suggest.
Conor January 10, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Some people need to realize that the Riverwalk wasnt just made for adults to enjoy but also kids, its fine to keep them safe but i think that just means keeping some security there. this is one of the only places kids can go and have fun and be safe. if you have a problem with the skaters maybe you should walk around desoto.
Tony T January 11, 2013 at 02:26 AM
The problem is not with the skaters it is with the thugs who the skate park attracts.
Nancy B. January 17, 2013 at 11:05 PM
.....up to 500 people gathering?........500 people looking for something to do..... something here is broken or maybe here is an opportunity to fix what is broken. Interview these people ask what they need/want....if they had a other outlets would it curb some of the unrest on our streets, in our schools? So many skaters and bikers and their friends sharing one park.......seems there is a need to be filled.


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