(RALEIGH COUNTY) Beckley Police are beefing up patrol on the: ‘Rails-To-Trails.’ There have been security issues on the walking and biking path.
“We patrol that trail on a daily basis. If you’re down there you will see both marked and unmarked city police cars on the trail,” Mayor Rappold said.
For some workers, walking the trail use to be their daily routine, but now that has stopped. “We always loved walking on the trail but there’s been so many bad things happening, we’re afraid to walk it now, so we just walk through the city,” former walker Kellie Summers admitted.
At least one crime was reported in 2019 on the trail, bikers like Eric Brown, said he’s on a mission to make sure there’s no crime happening at all.
“I try to look out for people if I can while I’m out here because I hear about a lot of stuff going on, and if I see something I’m going to partake in it and help because I’m apart of this community. That’s why I ride on this trail,” he explained.
Despite hiccups in the past with the unpopular path, there are some who feel safe. “The trail is really good, I just try to avoid riding after dark, biker, Vinicius Rios said. “It’s a beautiful trail everything’s good and I hope everybody can continue walking and not be scared especially the ladies and gentlemen in the community,” walker, Mary Church said.
Mayor Rappold, said Public Works has also stepped in to make sure that the trail is safer.
“One way we’ve tried to make it safer is to widen the right away and clear some of the brush that could potentially be a hiding place for somebody with nefarious ambitions or whatever,” he said.
Rappold will be hosting his 2nd ‘Walk with the Mayor’ event this Friday on ‘Rails to Trails’ and encourages everyone to join in to see just how much patrol is increasing. ‘Walk with the Mayor’ will start at 5:30 pm.