Local leaders met with officials from just over the border in Connecticut on Monday to answer questions about a possible gas sale ban for illegal dirt bike riders in the city of Springfield.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Local leaders met with officials from just over the border in Connecticut on Monday to answer questions about a possible gas sale ban for illegal dirt bike riders in the city of Springfield. The ordinance is already in place in two Connecticut cities.

This ordinance has been in the works for months in Springfield. Some city councilors have been hesitant and worried for gas station employees’ safety when possibly unruly illegal dirt bike riders find out they are cut off at the pumps.

“I’m sure you guys have similar issues to us. We were plagued with groups of ATV riders,” said New Haven Police Assistant Chief Karl Jacobson.

The Springfield public safety committee sat down with officials from New Haven and Hartford to hash out their questions about a possible gas ban in the city for illegal dirt bike riders. It’s a a proposal that mirrors legislation already in place in the two Connecticut cities.

"It was kind of out-of-the-box thinking, but I had to do something meaningful and it was an added tool for the police department,” said former Hartford City Councilor Raul De Jesus Jr.

A similar ordinance has been in effect in New Haven for the last year and in Hartford for approximately seven years and has cut illegal riders, who were often wreaking havoc on the streets, off at the pumps and fining gas station owners if they don’t comply.

For Springfield city councilors, the idea has been controversial. Some worry about gas station employees' safety when riders who are sometimes known to be dangerous realize they won’t be served.

“These are people that already have offenses and that may be toting guns. Although this hasn’t happened in your neck of the woods, we have a gun violence problem here in the city of Springfield. My concern is it could go bad,” said Springfield City Councilor Tracye Whitfield.

In Hartford and New Haven, De Jesus Jr. and Jacobson said that although they had similar safety concerns originally, no incidents have happened.

“New Haven, we’re in the same boat. We have a lot of homicides, we have a lot of shootings. We may even have more than you,” Jacobson explained.

De Jesus Jr. added, “We can’t add fuel to the fire. These guys are reckless, they’re causing accidents.

Both cities praise their community policing efforts for the success of the ordinance helping to take illegal riders off the streets and the Springfield Police Department said they hope to see the same success.

A vote could happen in favor or against the ordinance in November.

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