AUSTIN – The cost of keeping users of Austin’s hike and bike trails safe, should parts of the trails be open 24-hours, took center stage at the City’s Public Safety Commission meeting Monday night.
Assistant Chief David Carter of APD told commissioners it would cost $3.1 million to man 22 miles of the hike and bike trails with 24 officers.
“If the trail were to open up and we did not go out there and police, that effectively we believe is an unnecessary risk,” said Carter.
Carter also told KVUE that the City is starting a pilot program in June on parts of the trail to see how things go after extending overnight hours.
Austin police also provided crime data from the past three years regarding incidents happening on or near the trails.
Since 2010, there have been more than 700 violent crimes on or near Austin’s hike & bike trails and parks.
“There was at least one murder and there were several sexual assaults of women who were either running or jogging on the trail, or had started jogging or running on the trail and were followed off,” Carter said.
Before the evening was done, Austin’s Public Safety Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the Austin City Council do more analysis on the issue of extending hours on parts of Austin's hike & bike trails.