Local/State

New vehicles unveiled to patrol Tobacco Trail

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Police are launching new patrols and a new patrol vehicle on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham. It comes after nearly a dozen attacks on joggers since January.

Durham police are hoping their new rides will prevent new reports of any crime. The patrol cars are smaller than a traditional one and come with four wheel drive. They can take a non-traditional route to combat crime.

They are called utility terrain vehicles. Durham police bought three of the UTVs in direct response to the attacks on the American Tobacco Trail.

Before buying the UTVs, police had already stepped up their patrols on the trail and all 27-miles of greenway across the city.

A city councilman has even led "take back the trail" events.

Just over the last couple of weeks,  Durham police have made multiple arrests on the trail for drug related charges. Now, they hope their new vehicle will help them get back into the woods where people may be hiding to help prevent the next crime.

"We want people to know that we're there -- that we're patrolling those areas," said Capt. D.C. Allen with the Community Services Bureau. "We want to be visible."

They want people to know they can now get to places they may not have been able to get to before.

The UTVs can go up to about 45 miles per hour. They will be used at different times on the trail and other city sponsored events.

Taxpayers did not have to foot the $32,000 bill. The department used money from drug busts to cover the cost.

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durham county, local/state, shae crisson
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