More attacks on Tobacco Trail - WNCN: News, Weather

More attacks on Tobacco Trail

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DURHAM, N.C. -

Durham police are trying to be more proactive as they try and deal with an increasing number of assaults on the American Tobacco Trail.

They held a safety training session Tuesday night to teach folks how to avoid becoming victims of a crime while using the trail.

"The community can go out and say this is our trail, this is our city and we're going to do what has to be done and not take all this stuff from individuals who are criminals," declared police chief Jose Lopez.

In addition to the safety training, many believe more has to be done including creating a citizens bike patrol to supplement what police are doing.

"I Love it. I think there's no easy answer here and I'm glad we're considering working together," said trail user Laura Webb, who lives right along the trail.

The city hopes to get the volunteer patrol on the trail in about a month after background checks and training for those volunteers willing to participate ...

With over a dozen incidents on the trail since May, concern is high.

"If it gets the reputation of being unsafe, than it's going to collapse and all the money spent for the ATT will wither away and be unused," explained meeting attendee Scott Douglas.

Added trail user Aubrey Jones, when folks are scared to use it; it takes away the value to the community. It puts a blight on Durham I don't think is deserved.

A Durham city councilor who organized a number of ‘take back-the-trail' events says, the safety training sessions can only do so much.

"People got a good sense of what they can do top keep themselves safe, but that won't do the whole job," he said.  "The best way to keep the trail safe is for lots of people to be out there."

The city hopes to get the volunteer patrol out on the trail in about a month after background checks and training for those volunteers  willing to participate.
 

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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