Delphi trail changes spark trail safety discussions

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Do you feel safe on the trails in Fort Wayne? It’s a question a lot of people are asking after two girls were found dead near a trail in Delphi. Changes are now being made there to address worries. We wanted to know what is done here to make sure trail users are safe. Last year was a record breaking year for the amount of people using these trails. The first two months of this year are follow the same trend. But after what happened in Delphi, people are being cautious.

A month ago Tuesday, Liberty German and Abby Williams were found after walking a trail in Delphi. It was small town tragedy felt throughout the entire country.

“All of us are concerned. We’re all thinking about the families. Violence unfortunately happens anywhere,” Frank Suarez, Fort Wayne Board of Works, said.

Cameras and trail safety signs plus police patrols are being added to that trail system now.

“Our police are out there on bike patrol and we also have some police officers that will walk the trails and we have greenway rangers and I believe we have just under 80 greenway rangers in our community,” Suarez said.

There are more than 70 miles of trails within the city limit. Including county trails the total number is 96 miles and there thousands of people using the trail- much different than the rural trail where Liberty and Abby were found. “We had over 500 thousand users of our trail system last year and they are very vigilant. That’s a lot of people on our trails every day of the week.”

We also asked what about safety posts that call 911. They’re popular on college campuses and people wonder why our trails don’t have them. The answer was most people have cell phones and those communities have shared that the posts get abused and are often fake 911 calls. The city takes these precautions but you’re advised to as well. Make eye contact people you pass and be vigilant.