Police Threatening To Arrest Anyone Who Sleds On Popular Hill In Methuen
METHUEN (CBS) – A very popular sledding hill for families is now off limits in Methuen.
Police are no longer allowing anyone to sled down the Greycourt Park hill located behind city hall.
Officials say this past week, three people were seriously injured when they collided with trees that are in the middle of the sled trail.I can understand closing the trail to sledding. It sounds like it's not the greatest layout in the world, with trees in the middle of the route (although I have to wonder if that's a true route or just the path of least resistance...). Closing the trail would limit the town's liability - leaving it open gives tacit approval for folks to go sledding; with that approval comes liability. It's not right, but in today's litigious society, that's the reality.
But it's the fact that they've got police patrolling the hill that's mind-boggling. I understand closing the trail. I understand locking the gate. But to allocate police resources to actively patrol the area? Look, if it's closed off, with police tape cordoning off the area and the gate to the parking area locked, that's as clear a sign as you're ever going to get to keep out. Taking police officers off the street to make sure kids aren't sledding down the hill doesn't seem to be the best use of public protection resources.
In fact, I'd wager it might have the opposite effect. You have now made the hill even more of an attractive nuisance, as it's going to become the "cool" thing for teenagers to sled on the hill in defiance of the police patrol. I'm sure everyone remembers that one spot where everyone hung out doing age-inappropriate things (ahem) - how many times did the police raid that spot? And yet you still went back, right?
Heck, I'd wager it'll become a rite of passage to take a few runs down that hill without getting caught by "the man"...
That is all.