By Pat Pratt
Following an uptick in illicit activity, Troy Police in the days ahead will ramp up enforcement at the Madison County Transit Park-N-Ride lot located at South Main Street and US Highway 40.
Troy Police said in a public service announcement the agency has received numerous reports of people gathering on the lot, leaving trash, damaging property, drinking, using drugs, fighting and driving recklessly.
Interim Police Chief Chris Wasser said those incidents have been more prominent in the past few weeks.
“In the last couple weeks, we have had an issue out there with reckless driving and also consumption of alcohol,” Wasser said. “We found some remnants of illegal drug use and there have been several damage reports out there as well. We’ve gotten complaints from the neighbors as well – cars revving their engines and people yelling – and that’s what we are trying to deter.”
Police believe the illicit behavior is being caused by groups of younger people gathering on the lots in the later evening hours to socialize. He said the agency is not trying to deter young people from gathering, but the Park-N-Ride lot is not the place.
“We are not trying to prohibit these people – they can go to the park and hang out in groups. We want the kids to be able to congregate, but they have to do it where they are staying safe and not disrupting other peoples’ lives.”
Beginning immediately, Troy Police and MCT will move to prosecute illegal activity taking place on the lot. There are surveillance cameras on the lot and the two agencies are working together to share information to identify any wrongdoers.
“Madison County Transit is working closely with the City of Troy and the Troy Police Department to stop unruly behavior at the Troy Park & Ride,” MTC Managing Director SJ Morrison said. “On behalf of the MCT Board, I’d like to thank and commend the police for their efforts.”
Wasser said officers will begin enforcing the posted 15 minute time limit for loitering. However, he also said officers will not be using a stopwatch to issue tickets for legitimate uses, such as commuting, trail use, etc.
“We are going to use proactive patrols out there to make sure illegal activity is not occurring,” Wasser said. “We are not going to be out there as soon as a car pulls in, putting it on a timer. We can’t do that.”