Less than a week after it opened, the Ocean City Community Services Department locked the gates to the new Cape May County Skateboard Park in Ocean City at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.The city is sending a clear message to skaters who disregard rules mandating the use of helmets and pads.Skateboarders without helmets or pads complain about the closing of the new skate park on Tuesday — because too few people were using helmets or pads.“We need to find a better way to communicate the requirements of the park,” Community Services Director Mike Allegretto said early on Tuesday afternoon.By late afternoon, the park was back open and staffed by Allegretto and Ocean City Business Administrator Jim Mallon, ensuring that skaters follow the rules.Mallon said the park will remain open and be staffed — at least in the short term — by a rotation of city employees.Outside the locked gates early Tuesday afternoon, a small group of skaters complained about the closing. They were, of course, without helmets and pads.Rules of the park are clearly posted on signs at the entrance, and skaters invested in the park’s success have maintained a fairly rigorous effort to self-police. But from the park’s first hours last Thursday (Sept. 24), skaters without helmets have outnumbered those with them — particularly among adolescents and young adults.The park is free to use and was not staffed by any city employee until late Tuesday.The park rules are as follows:Skate Park will be open daily from 9:00 am to dusk (weather permitting). Skate Park will be closed during inclement weather and/or when equipment is damaged or wet or for routine maintenance.The following protective equipment is required to be used while skating: helmet, elbow pads, knee pads.Use of personally owned ramps, boxes, rails or other similar items is prohibited.Use of alcohol and tobacco products is prohibited.Skate Park is for skating. Bikes and scooters are prohibited.No amplified sound is permitted except by permit.Parental supervision for inexperienced skaters and those less than 12 years of age 1s strongly recommended.No food or glass containers are permitted in the skate park.Unsafe conditions should be reported to the City of Ocean City, Department of Community Services.Skating is prohibited on the adjacent parking lots, sidewalks and streets.Proper behavior is required at all times. Abusive, profane language or aggressive behavior will not be tolerated.Rules violations will result in suspension of skating privileges.______Sign up for free breaking news alerts and daily updates on Ocean City news. The new skateboard park in Ocean City at Fifth Street and Asbury Avenue was closed at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (Sept. 29), because skaters were not adhering to rules requiring the use of helmets and pads.