MONROE COUNTY, Ind. – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is adding more manpower to local trails. The push to improve trail safety comes just a week before the start of spring.
“We have a presence which will minimize any mischief around the property,” said Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swain.
That presence is part of a push by the sheriff’s office to make trail safety a top priority.
“We have three patrol bikes now and several deputies who have received the trail training,” said Sheriff Swain.
The sheriff's office says questions about trail safety from people in the area prompted them to add more patrols. Now, deputies on a bike, foot and ATV will keep a watchful eye on people using the trail.
“There would be a potential for somebody to think that this is a rural area where nobody else is around. They could possibly take advantage of someone but with us being out here and being visible we can prevent things like that,” said Monroe County Sheriff’s Lt. Randy Jacobs.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office also added a substation near the trails where deputies can work on paperwork, answer questions, and check on the trail users. The substation also gives deputies a chance to increase community policing in the county.
“We are a lot more approachable out here on the trails and can better communicate with the community members,” said Lt. Jacobs.
Sheriff Swain says the department does not have a high number of calls to service to the trails but wants to be prepared to prevent safety issues before they start.
“By showing that we are out here and active people who might think it would be a good idea to lay and wait may think twice,” said Sheriff Swain.
“We have not noticed any issues at all and I think that is because of the presence of the deputies down here,” said nearby resident Bill Stidd.
As the trails expand, the sheriff’s office plans to train more deputies to patrol them.