The Winchester Police Department is taking several steps to improve relationships and safety in Downtown Winchester. During a press conference Wednesday morning, the Winchester Police Chief and Downtown Manager unveiled new signs that highlight the rules on the walking mall, and will hopefully increase compliance. The signs, which can be moved to different locations, clearly illustrate “No Bicycling, No Skateboarding, No Rollerblading, or Scooters.”
The Police Department has received an increase in concerns from business owners who are worried about the conduct of some young people on the downtown mall. For years, the Department has battled the problem of skateboards and bikers cruising up and down the pedestrian mall, and officers have been issuing warnings in an effort to educate the public.
Starting today: police are no longer issuing warnings, they are issuing citations. There will be zero tolerance for people who have received warnings and continue to break the law. If a child is cited, both the parent and juvenile will have to appear in court, and pay a $50 fine. Adults who break the rules will be cited and given a $50 pre-payable fine.
Business owners and shoppers have also requested a more visible police presence to ensure awareness and compliance of laws. In response, Cpl. Justin Schumer was introduced as the new Community Resource Officer, and will specifically patrol the downtown area. Cpl. Schumer has an office at the Bright Box Theater, but most of the time, he will be seen patrolling the walking mall.
Schumer will work on an alternating schedule, depending on the needs of the community, with the goal of making sure citizens of Winchester feel safe while downtown.