Cleveland leaders announce new “enforcement strategy” to crackdown on dirt bike riders

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- After weeks of avoiding questions from the FOX 8 I-TEAM, Cleveland city leaders today announced what they're doing about the problem of packs of dirt bike riders taking over the streets.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams announced a new "enforcement strategy" though he wouldn't get into specifics.

Meantime, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced the city is drawing up new legislation to take to city council imposing tougher penalties on the bikes on the street.

Cleveland police officers have complained they are not allowed to chase the bikes, and citizens have complained because the police have not cracked down.

Chief Williams  said officers still will not chase the bikes even with the new enforcement.

Cleveland Police Union President Steve Loomis said the city leaders are catering to a few hundred dirt bike riders at the expense of law-abiding citizens.

Plans are slowly moving forward for the city to build a dirt bike track at a cost of about $2 million. The mayor said he couldn't guarantee that will take every illegal bike off the streets, but he said the city is providing "alternatives."

Johnnie Burton heads a group of dirt bike enthusiasts. He says the riders are "not criminals."

He's hoping the new dirt bike track and new enforcement will lead to more riders staying off the streets and enjoying the sport surrounding the dirt bikes.

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