Bloomington police up patrols after criminal activity on trail

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Police in Bloomington say they are increasing patrols on the B-Line Trail after two recent robberies happened there. Captain Joseph Qualters said in both incidents, someone stopped bicyclists and robbed them at least once with a weapon.

“This is an area where we need to pay special attention, so we’ll be here as long as needed,” said Qualters.

Officials say the department has taken additional steps to assure the trail is safe, by increasing foot, bike and ATV patrols by police. This is to create a noticeable increase in law enforcement presence, police say.

“We want to be visible. We want people to take advantage of this amenity. It’s a great value to the city, has a number of users and we are committed to keeping it safe as possible,” said Qualters.

The B-Line Trail is already patrolled by officers from three districts. Police in downtown Bloomington also patrol parts of the trail that run along Kirkwood Avenue and other parts of downtown.

Some people who live near the trail say they avoid the trail at nights and are happy to see more officers on the B-Line.

“Now that we’re more aware of people being attacked and such, we stay clear of walking at night,” said Stacy Strand who lives in Bloomington.

Qualters encourages runners to be smart on the trail, even with the stronger police presence.

“We would encourage people to use it, we know that people really enjoy using the trail, but what we do ask is that people in whatever situation you have to make some determination about your own personal safety,” said Qualters.

Police have provided the following safety tips to those who use the trail:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times and consider carrying a cell phone in the event of an emergency.
  • Note that all light poles are numbered to identify your location.
  • Report any suspicious activity or people to police immediately.
  • Use the “buddy system” whenever possible or stay reasonably close to others using the Trail.
  • Avoid using the Trail late at night and especially those parts of the Trail that are less populated and more remote.
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