Local News

New effort to improve safety on Durham trail begins Wednesday

Posted October 10, 2012 9:15 a.m. EDT

— 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.