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To Combat Mischief, Schuylkill River Trail Enthusiasts Form Official Trail Watch Organization

By Marcy Norton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A group of about 50 users and neighbors of the Schuylkill River Trail came out Thursday night for a meeting to organize a "trail watch" group.

2nd district Councilman Kenyatta Johnson organized the effort in response to recent attacks and thefts on the trail by groups of roving teenagers.

"Yes, I do use the trail and I have two young daughters, seven and eight years old, so I'm very concerned from that standpoint."

Trail enthusiasts shared concerns about the recent attacks and see the the Schuylkill River Trail watch group as a way to take back some control. They gave their names and contact information,and town watch services director Anthony Murphy says training is the next step.

"We do observation, we do communication, we talk about reporting, we talk about infrastructure within the group."

Just like a town watch, the trail watchers will walk in groups at different times of day keeping an eye out for trouble. They'll include nearby residents and members of groups like Run 2-1-5 and the Bicycle Coalition of greater Philadelphia.

Councilman Johnson says there's one goal, "Everyone should have the opportunity to come out and enjoy themselves on this trail, without fear of getting knocked upside the head."

For information about how to get involved, you can contact Councilman Kenyatta Johnson's office.

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