City shuts Dorchester garage that was repairing dirt bikes, ATVs

Boston Police report its officers and officers from the state Environmental Police raided a garage on Hancock Street in Dorchester yesterday afternoon and seized all the vehicles whose owners did not arrive in time to haul them away - just for safekeeping, police say.

Police say that as part of a crackdown on offroad vehicles being ridden illegally on roads, officers went to Castillo Tire, 233 Hancock St., around 12:15 p.m. to conduct an inspection. They found "numerous off-road vehicles, scooters, and motorcycles in various states of repair on the property and inside the open bay door," but no city permits to run a repair facility there. A Boston Fire Department inspector ordered all the vehicles removed.

Police add:

Officers requested a tow to have all vehicles removed for safekeeping until the owners could retrieve them, as the repair shop did not keep a repair log with the owners’ information. The owners of several vehicles made themselves known and were allowed to remove their vehicles at their own labor and expense upon providing documentation proving ownership. The 24 remaining vehicles were removed from the premises until the owners could arrange to retrieve them.

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I was playing golf at William

I was playing golf at William Devine on Sunday, and you could hear the distinct BRAAAP BRAAP sound of dirt bikes from Blue Hill Ave and beyond. By the sound of it, there were way more than a couple rolling around that evening.

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And just why are

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the Environmental Police involved here? For that matter, why do we even need an Environmental Police in the first place?

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If you don't know why

In short, I'll explain:

Do you think that the typical cop on the street is trained to investigate criminal infractions of environmental law? To gather evidence regarding improper disposal of solvents or hydraulic fluids?

Do you think that the typical environmental scientist employed by DEP has the right to serve warrants and enter a premises where there is suspicion of illegal waste dumping, illegal operations, etc.?

That's why we need this specialized task force. They are trained in both environmental law and have the authority of the state police to investigate.

I have been doing monthly water sampling on a beleaguered stretch of the Mystic River Watershed for nearly 15 years. Twice in that time the things that I have noticed have resulted in an illegal dumping raid. The city and state police lack the expertise for this, and the state DEP staff lack authority and expertise when it comes to getting warrants and serving them. That's why we need this hybrid group.

In this particular case, illegal automotive and dirt bike shops often end up dumping paint and oil and coolant and brake fluid in illegal ways, which is why they have to be licensed and regulated in the first place.

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Thanks for the clarification

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especially about the need for investigation. What mostly tripped me up was the statement about "crackdown on illegal dirt bikes", which to most people wouldn't equate to "and lots of uncontrolled hazardous waste."

However, and with respect, it still seems silly to me that we need an entire specialized police force to do this sort of investigative work, instead of - say within the State Police, or in the local force of larger cities like Boston, a group of officers in the police force who specialize in this discipline.

And, although IANAL, I don't recall that it's ever been the case (pardon the pun) that a cop serving a warrant needs to be schooled in the nuances of the charges the warrant is based on.

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The Environmental Police are

The Environmental Police are also tasked with enforcing laws, and investigating accidents/incidents involving "recreational vehicles" which include dirt bikes and ATVs. So, when a local police department wants to crack down on illegal use of such vehicles, they often involve the Environmental Police, who are well versed in such laws.

That's just one small part of their department, they enforce fishing and hunting laws, boating laws, illegal dumping (and more serious environmental crimes), assist local departments with calls involving wildlife, the list goes on and on... They also do a lot of public outreach and education, in addition to enforcement, teaching boating safety and such so they hopefully don't have to respond to a completely avoidable boating accident involving untrained boaters. And they, just like the State Police, have jurisdictional powers in the entire state.

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they also

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enforce shellfishing laws, hunting laws, in addition to polluters. Perhaps there may have been illegal disposal of fluids and the like.

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when ya need something shot properly ...

Snark mode on ...

All I know is that back in my IDPA/IPSC pistol shooting days the only law enforcement officers that my young and dumb ass could NOT regularly outshoot in practice and often in competition were the MA environmental police and most of the MA state troopers. I was not particularly good either so I remember being shocked at how poorly the regular LEOs would do with accurate shooting. The Environmental Police were uniformly and unusually excellent shooters across the board.

The explanation we heard made sense at the time but I'm not sure if it is still accurate many years later -- the environmental cops were outdoors-lovin sportsfolk well versed in firearms while the state troopers were good because apparently they have to re-qualify at the range far, far more often than city, town and municipal LEOs are forced to re-qualify.

That is my only MA Environmental Police anecdote, damn good shooters and generally very nice/chill conservation-minded people

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Environmental Police

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EPO's have more jurisdiction than any other agency in Mass. They have full police powers in the commonwealth and there are several laws that can only be enforced by EPO's...and more importantly they do not need a warrant to search and confiscate. So if you are arrested by EPO you are screwed.
Castillo Tires was open this afternoon at 6 pm

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Environmental Police can use sound meters too!

To protect us from sound pollution. Now, if only idiots would stop wearing ear buds everywhere playing "music" too loud, constantly, making themselves deaf, environmental police might have an impact on hearing preservation.

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Unregistered scooters, dirt bikes and recreational vehicles

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Just posted this on uphamscornerjoneshill.nextdoor.com I understand the police read it:

All day they swerve in and out of traffic along the 400's of Columbia Rd and not a single cop around. The noise pollution alone is deafening from my office window

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