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New effort to improve safety on Durham trail begins Wednesday

Posted October 10, 2012

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— Durham police and transportation officials will host a meeting Wednesday evening to kick off the city's "Our Trail, Our Town" information campaign, a program designed to improve safety on the American Tobacco Trail.

The two-hour program, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Durham City Hall Council chambers, will train residents about how to be alert to potential crimes and how to better report them.

"This kind of partnership between residents and the city is more important than anything the city could do alone," Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield said in a statement. "It clearly demonstrates that the American Tobacco Trail is a community asset."

Thirteen crimes have been reported so far this year on the 7.5-mile stretch of the trail that cuts through Durham. They include seven assaults, four robberies, one attempted robbery and a case of indecent exposure. 

In 2011, five robberies, two assaults and six cases of indecent exposure were reported on the trail in Durham.

The latest incident, an assault, happened on Oct. 1 when a man was walking on the trail near Fayetteville Road and Woodcraft Parkway.

In September, the Durham Police Department deployed three all-terrain vehicles that can quickly respond to crimes and potentially dangerous situations. The city's goal is to have at least one of the ATVs on the trail from dawn until about 10 p.m.


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  • flyguync Oct 10, 2012

    "Oh yes, just what we need. A gaggle of panicked six gun packing Yahoos filling the air with hot lead. Im think I will pass on that silly idea.

    You need to read up on modern firearms. Sixguns? I never leave the house with so little firepower. Like one poster said, if the bad guys started getting carried out, the crimes would cease. As citizens, we have the right to defend ourselves, for now.

  • piene2 Oct 10, 2012

    "Easy pickings. The bad guys know we are unarmed. People are forbidden to possess the means of self-defense in public park areas.

    Oh yes, just what we need. A gaggle of panicked six gun packing Yahoos filling the air with hot lead. Im think I will pass on that silly idea.

  • Fun Oct 10, 2012

    Not McDonalds. They can move the TGI Friday's from Falls of The Neuse Rd. in Raleigh to Tobacco Trail. They have security and you get wanded for weapons before you are allowed in the restaurant.

  • SFSOLDIER Oct 10, 2012

    Can you carry a weapon in the open or concealed on that trail? Or have the prohibited that as well?

  • a420a240 Oct 10, 2012

    Put undercover LEOs on the trail, dressed as joggers, but armed.
    October 10, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    --Why not just encourage the joggers to be responsible for their own safety and encourage them to take steps to be prepared to defend themselves? Saves taxpayers a lot of $$$...

  • SomewhereLeftOfRTP Oct 10, 2012

    Thirteen crimes so far this year, with hundreds of people using the trail every day? I still like my odds. The risk to my health and welfare from a trail attack is far less than the risk from giving up exercise to cower at home on my couch.

  • puddintank Oct 10, 2012

    The obvious solution is to open up a McDonalds on the trail. Duh.

  • djofraleigh Oct 10, 2012

    Per person on the trail, is this trail really any more dangerous than other equally traveled secluded area of the city?

  • djofraleigh Oct 10, 2012

    Rename it Tobacco Alley....or lets cut all the trees and bushes within a 100' of it for visibility -- IOWs, destroy it to save it!

    Drones could be flying over with heat sensors and laser weaponry!

    Put undercover LEOs on the trail, dressed as joggers, but armed.

  • SomeRandomGuy Oct 10, 2012

    "Great, deploying 4 wheel gas powered ATV's that can be heard long before they get near anyone hiding along the trail waiting for a user of the trail. Now if they were electric powered, that noise issue would be greatly reduced and the officer would be more likely to even see those waiting to accost users."

    Like segways?