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New Safety Program Brings Police Bike Patrols To Coyote Creek Trail In San Jose

SAN JOSE (KPIX) -- After recent crimes along one of the South Bay's longest trails, police are stepping up patrols to make it safer for the people who frequent it daily.

San Jose has started a new police bike patrol program for a just-opened section of the Coyote Creek Trail. Officers are patrolling the Coyote Creek Trail 10 hours a day, seven days a week, as part of its new Trail Safety Plan.

"If we see any illegal activity that requires enforcement action, we will take action if it's occurring, but we're primarily there to ensure that all people feel safe to be able to use the trail," said Sgt. Leo Prescott.

The city just opened a three-mile section of the trail between Williams Street and Tully Road. It curves along the creek bed and goes beneath the I-280 freeway.

San Jose Conservation Corps workers are still clearing brush and beautifying parts of the trial. Other crews are building decorative fencing to separate the trail from busy streets.

"It's just a great way to cut across town through here without going around on all these crowded streets," said cyclist Darrell Jones.

Part of the trail runs past the infamous "Jungle" homeless encampment where hundreds of people once lived. The area has been cleared of camps, but a few remain.

"It's kind of sad that there are so many homeless down this way. But it's a beautiful trail," said cyclist Cindy Smagala, who has a little more piece of mind riding the trail knowing that help is close.

Police services are partially paid for with a grant, that also includes services for the unhoused in the area.

"We are working in partnerships with PATH and the conservation corps to bring services, get on housing lists so they can have housing other than living in the creek," Sgt. Prescott said.

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