Recently I read an article in the Today paper about an attempted sexual assault up the East Canyon Walking Trail on the 21st of July, which would have been a Saturday night.
I would also like to add that as far as my knowledge it is not a first attempt. Four years ago there was an attempted assault that took place at or around 1 p.m. in the afternoon when the suspect attempted to flee up the side of the south hills before being apprehended by our law enforcement.
This goes to show that no matter day or night, as a citizen enjoying the city’s facilities you always need to be aware and alert of your surroundings and who is walking in front and behind.
Starting our neighborhood/park watch three years ago, we did so after many of our neighbors witnessing numerous suspicious events happening in this particular area. We gave it all we had to patrol this area heavy and saw results within the first season that were very beneficial as far as clearing the area from transient camps and summertime mayhem and vandalism.
We lost one of our volunteers when he moved out of the area. With this said I’d like to say we haven’t had the resources to be out as much as we were at first, and although CCPD has a volunteer police program, I don’t know or think they service at night unless there is an event for street blockage or traffic control.
I have approached our city council about placing lamp lights along these trails (not to promote night use, but for safety). I really wish it didn’t always have to be after the fact or incident before a course of action is taken.
I can’t count how many times I’ve been up in that area and seen groups and individuals heading in that direction. I’m not allowed to tell them they can’t go up there after hours when the trail is closed, but I simply tell them it is closed in hopes they turn around and head back.
A lot of these trails are pitch black at night and that is why I do not even exit my pickup when I’m in that area and use PAs and spotlights to deter suspicious acts.
The officer is right in my opinion as far as Do not walk with iPods in, walk in groups and or with a pet like a dog that can protect you. And I encourage anyone who feels like walking afterhours to do so in our city’s neighborhoods where it is lit with lights and there are citizens or a home you can get to if something should occur.
There are laws and rules for our protection (not to tell you what to do). Everyone always says or thinks it will never happen to them, but the truth is it can happen to anyone. No woman or man ever deserves and should never be assaulted in any way, but it does happen, so please use common sense when using the city’s facilities and follow the rules on our city’s properties.
Summertime is a very busy season in our area and all our local law enforcement and volunteers cannot be everywhere all the time. People need to take responsibility for their own safety and surroundings.
Park Patrol, Cedar City