Meeting held on Tobacco Trail safety concerns


At a community meeting Wednesday evening, Durham police taught people how to stay safe while on the trail. But some said more needs to be done.

Posters and signs posted advertise safety precautions on the American Tobacco Trail. It comes after a string of assaults, and muggings Runners, cyclists, and walkers all say something has to change.

"I think it's certainly an issue that needs to be addressed," said runner Ben Pierce. "It's unfortunate to hear that there have been incidences on the trail. It's a great running path."

Inside city hall, police worked to address trail safety with a few dozen residents. Officers provided some common-sense safety tips like: Always carry a cell phone and whistle; Wear bright and reflective clothing; and, don't go off-trail.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said police are relying on citizens for help.

"I think this community needs to work together, and not just depend on the police to keep the trail safe, and I think the community needs to do enough," said Lopez.

Others, however, said police need to do more, and step up their presence.

"Police is always the best I think because they do have the power to do things neighborhood patrols don't and things of that nature," said Durham resident Annie Carleton. "You don't want to get in situations like you hear on the news."

While police and residents work to find a solution, crime is increasing on the trail, and so are safety concerns.

Durham residents at the meeting also suggested more lights, a professional security force, and call boxes along the trail.

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