PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As the city of Providence continues to crack down on illegal ATV and dirt bike riding, Mayor Brett Smiley says they’re looking to donate some of the vehicles that are seized by police.
Smiley told 12 News that law enforcement agencies in Central America, South America and the Caribbean could put them to good use.
“These vehicles are actually used for police work because there’s rural areas or off-road work that they need to do to safely police and patrol their countries and cities,” he said Wednesday.
The city is working with organizations like Lights and Sirens International to facilitate the donations, according to Smiley.
“We’re working with a couple groups to see if there is interest,” he said. “There has been preliminary interest.”
He also said the goal is to have those groups cover the shipping costs.
“We don’t want to bear any additional burden on behalf of the taxpayers of Providence for this,” Smiley said. “But if these vehicles can be used somewhere else productively, the way they’re intended to be used, we’d like to facilitate that, and so that’s what our hope is.”
Cranston police previously worked with Lights and Sirens International, donating seized ATVs and dirt bikes to police in the Dominican Republic.
Providence has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to riding recreational vehicles on city streets. Last Thursday, the city crushed several confiscated vehicles with a front loader and dropped them in a dumpster.
Smiley said there’s a difference between the vehicles that were destroyed and the ones that will be donated.
“The vehicles we crushed last week were not ones that probably a professional law enforcement agency would use,” Smiley explained. “We have some newer, more valuable four-wheelers and other vehicles that would be more appropriate for professional use that we’ve held onto in the hopes of donating.”
Anyone with information on illegal recreational vehicles can call the city’s ATV tip line at (401) 680-TATV (8288) or email ATVtips@providenceri.gov.