Metro police increase Monon Trail patrols

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As warm weather arrives, police are increasing patrols to protect walkers, joggers and bikers, Eyewitness News has confirmed.

"I've been running here for the last couple of years," said Lorri Calverty, one of hundreds hitting the Monon Trail in the nicer weather. Even in broad daylight though, Calvert said she wouldn't think of being on the Monon alone.

"13 years ago, I would have walked in the middle of a weekday up to Nora and back, by myself, and not think anything of it," said Calvert. "Now I won't walk here or run here by myself in the middle of a weekday."

Calvert has seen the headlines in recent years about attacks that have occurred on the trail. The last one was last October, when three teens attacked a 64-year-old man who was riding a bike near 21st Street. Since then, according to IMPD, there haven't been any assaults.

"We already have officers that are going on the trail daily, said IMPD Public Information Officer Kendale Adams. "That never really stopped."

"I see them more in the summer than I do during the winter," Calvert said of the trail's police presence.

Police say they're sending several officers to the trail. "What you will see as we approach the warmer months is an increased presence that will include some of our specialty units, horse patrol, our canine sections, our rangers," said Adams.

"We'll even have officers that are off-duty that walk the trail," he added.

Police said even with an increased presence, people who use the trail play a part in keeping it safe.

"We certainly are encouraging residents who are on the Monon to have a cell phone, and if you see something that's not appropriate to call police," said Adams.

Six emergency call boxes along the trail south of 38th Street have been another way to keep trail users safe. The Department of Public Works said they are checked weekly to make sure they're working.

Homeland Security said there are four cameras along the trail and all are working right now. When one camera goes down, it gets fixed within 24 hours.

"We plan to do everything we can to make it as safe as possible," said Adams.