Use this search box to find articles that have run in our newspapers over the last several years.

Skaters could be on ‘thin ice’ with police

Date: 1/30/2012

Jan. 30, 2012

By Chris Maza

EAST LONGMEADOW — The East Longmeadow Police Department is warning residents and visitors to stay off the ice on Blackman Pond at Heritage Park.

Citing recent fatalities in central and eastern Massachusetts as a result of people falling through thin ice, the department hopes that such warnings will prevent similar accidents in East Longmeadow.

“You can see that it’s black ice near the edges, but there’s still open water in the middle of the pond,” Sgt. Dennis Sheehan said.

Sheehan told Reminder Publications that the Police Department has received multiple reports of people skating or walking on the ice despite the signs put up by the Department of Public Works (DPW) warning them the ice is not safe.

“We probably had a dozen calls about people on the ice [the weekend of Jan. 21 and 22],” he said.

While the Police Department relies on the DPW to determine whether or not the ice is safe, Sheehan said the ice probably needs to be “a good six to eight inches” thick.

“In good winters, like the one we had last year, when we have that sustained cold, we could get 200 people out on that ice,” Sheehan said. “To hold that kind of weight, you need a significant amount of ice.”

Sheehan said that it is unlikely that the ice will be safe anytime soon.

“For the foreseeable future, I don’t see it being safe,” he said. “We would need to have five to 10 degree weather at night for weeks for the ice to be thick enough.”

According to the Police Department’s Facebook page, those who choose to skate at their own risk “may be subject to arrest for trespassing and possibly other public disorder offenses.”

For more information, contact the Police Department at 525-5440 or the DPW at 525-5400.

Bookmark and Share