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Omaha Police patrolling city trails after receiving public concerns

Posted at 10:42 PM, Sep 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-19 23:42:14-04

Omaha police officers are mounting up on their bikes and hitting the trails. Police bike units are patrolling places like Keystone Trail to keep runners, walkers and bikers safe.

All Wednesday afternoon, families were strolling along the trail. But parents like Monica Ottinger don't feel comfortable letting their kids out alone places were there's so much activity during the day.

"There's some wooded areas by the trail they like to play in and they had a couple instances with people approaching them," Ottinger said. "They spooked [my kids] enough to where I don't feel comfortable with them coming to the baseball field anymore, even though it's a couple blocks from our house."

Biker's safety was also a concern as a group of riders got together for an evening ride. Mark Sullivan has been riding in the area for about 10 years. He sometimes commutes to work on his bike. He says using the trails is a lot less stressful and police patrolling the trail is helpful for other bikers.

"On the road, I do have a lot of close calls, but on the bike paths I feel the stress level drop considerably," Sullivan said. "I've always had a safe enjoyable ride on the bike paths, but that's not to say something like that can't happen."

As Spencer Leavitt geared up for his ride, he told us about a few incidents he's seen when it comes to biking on trails.

"I've heard about people getting sticks thrown at them under bridges, Leavitt said. "Because of our sunglasses, it gets kind of dark. Skateboarders will accidentally fall off their skateboards too, just crazy stuff, even squirrels."