ANDERSON, Ind. – If you’re planning to hit the trails for a bike ride or a walk with the family in Anderson, you’ll see officers making sure you’re protected.
The Anderson Police Department has added a new tool to its fleet to keep the community safe: officers are now patrolling the more than 10 miles of trails on an all-terrain vehicle.
“I actually grew up riding my bike and walking with my family up and down them,” said Patrol Officer Courtney Skinner.
Skinner knows the ins and outs of the trails located around her home town and that makes her the perfect fit for the role. She's in charge of patrolling Anderson trails.
“I want some patrols out here, so I’m not feeling insecure about walking in my own city,” said Skinner.
A group of officers has been assigned to the task. The trails connect to several parks and conservation areas in Madison County.
“Every time I’m out here somebody will stop me and just thank us that we’re out here increasing patrols,” said Skinner.
The increased patrols began Memorial Day weekend. Since then, Skinner has noticed a slow but steady decrease in crime.
Anderson police added a presence to the trails following the Delphi murders in 2017. However, the resources weren’t available all the time, which made trail goers uneasy back then.
“When we first moved up here there was a lot of drug activity, a lot of alcohol, fights,” said resident Shirley Pharris.
Now, there are patrol officers monitoring the trails every day in the morning, afternoon and evening.
“I have a lot of friends that walk the trails and stuff and it’s nice to know that they’re going to be a little safer,” Pharris added.
It's a regular patrol intended to deter crime. Skinner thinks all communities should follow suit.
“Just having someone out here to make sure all the suspicious activity is checked on and kept at minimum,” said Skinner, “If other cities can pick up what we’ve done, I think that’d be great.”
Anderson police say future patrols might include the use of electric bicycles.