Delphi task force launched to improve trail safety

The investigation into the murders of two Delphi girls continues. (WISH photo)

DELPHI, Ind. (WISH) — Delphi city leaders and community organizers are forming a task force to focus on trail safety. The group will brainstorm ways to make Delphi’s trails safer.

Someone murdered two Carroll County teenagers last month after the girls were dropped off to hike the trails in broad daylight.

The task-force will include the police department, the mayor’s team and trail organizers. They’ll seek input from the public starting with a forum Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. at the Canal Center.

Dan McCain, a community organizer who was instrumental in developing the trails starting in the late 1980s, is one of the leaders of the task-force.

“It hurts me to see something that actually has made our trails a little bit more of a skeptic for people to walk on,” McCain said. “I think this will help dispel some of the fear and I’m well aware that we have people who have been asking about security.”

McCain’s early plans include security cameras and numbers on benches, similar to mile-markers, so visitors always know exactly where they are.

They task force plans to discuss dozens of ideas.

Jacob Adams, director of community development for the city of Delphi, said in the past the city has not provided funding for the trails but it’s not out of the question. He said the task force is planning multiple fundraising efforts including a 5k benefit run in early June.

“We’re going to open the floor. We’re going to brainstorm,” Adams said. “We don’t want to lose what we have and we don’t want it to go to the wayside because of an experience.”

Local banks are also raising money for trail cameras. Each staff member at Security Federal Savings and Loan can donate $5 to dress down on Fridays.

McCain said the cameras would likely cover the entrances and exits to the trails. He’s not sure how many cameras will go up on the ten mile trail system.

“To put a full camera system along ten miles of trails is near impossible because we don’t have electricity most places,” McCain said.

McCain said there are about 74 benches on the trails and he’d like to put a number on every one of them. That’s roughly one every 500 feet, according to McCain. His hope is that, if someone needs to call police while on the trails, they can point out exactly where they are.

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