Denver Council Considers Banning Vaping, Air Guns and E-Bikes in Borough Parks | Community News

When: Denver City Council meeting on July 25.

What happened: Borough Superintendent Michael Hession introduced a draft ordinance addressing rules and regulations in public parks in the borough, including bans on vaping, air guns and e-bikes. The ordinance addresses current issues the borough is experiencing in its public parks, such as increasingly common vaping. Currently, vaping is not mentioned in the rules and regulations. Smoking tobacco is prohibited. Air rifles are prohibited. Hession told the board that there has recently been a trend towards smaller airguns rather than air rifles, hence the name change. When it comes to e-bikes, Hession reported that there have been concerns about speed. The ordinance would only allow motorized bicycles with prior permission from the Parks and Recreation Department, such as for planned events. “You wouldn’t be able to just move through the trail system at 35 miles per hour while people are walking around on it,” he said.

Enforcement: The council showed support for the updates and changes, and discussed changing signs in the park to include vaping, as well as a local non-emergency phone number that can be used to report violations. If the order is approved, anyone who violates the smoking and vaping rules will be kicked out of the park. If convicted, they are liable to a fine of at least $25 and at most $600, plus prosecution costs. Before any action is taken by council, the order will be announced and made available to the public. The plan is to have the ordinance come into effect by the end of the summer.

K-9 unit: East Cocalico Police Chief Darrick Keppley discussed the idea of ​​creating a K-9 unit for law enforcement. Kepply would model the unit after that of Lititz Borough, which has had a K-9 unit since 2020. The main functions of the canine unit would include police patrol, search and rescue and drug interdiction. When asked if drug trafficking was a problem in North Lancaster County, Keppley said drugs were circulating in the community on the Highway 222 corridor between Lancaster and Reading. Hession said the department plans to hold a fundraising campaign. Funds for the program would be raised primarily through individual and corporate donations, but some costs would be borne by the township. Expenses for the program include training the dog handler and officer, and outfitting a patrol car for the dog, which costs more than $90,000, according to Keppley. The officer paired with the dog would be offered approximately five weeks of training. The program could begin within a year of the start of donations, Keppley said, based on other departments’ experiences with K-9 programs. The plan would ultimately require township approval.

Other business: The council unanimously approved a partnership between the borough and the Denver Sharks swim team to paint a new mural, a shark, on the wall of the Denver Community Pool. The borough will provide paint and supplies. Council also approved the creation of a disabled parking area on the south side of Main Street.

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