An uptick in crime may be encouraging more people to get involved with the Anchorage Trail Watch program. More than 50 people turned out for a training and informational meeting at the chalet in Russian Jack Park on Thursday afternoon.


Anchorage’s Department of Parks and Recreation runs the program, which encourages people to get out on the trails, report crime and keep an eye out for trouble spots. The program has been a bit stagnant over the years, but parks director Josh Durand said lately, there’s been a lot of interest.


“I think it has to do with safety perception,” Durand said. “When everyone feels great it doesn’t seem to have as much of a need, but when safety perception is soured it seems a lot more relevant.”


Durand said trail watch volunteers can put as little or as much time into the program as they want. Sometimes just their presence is enough to deter crime.


“You get people out there biking on (the trails). You get people out there running on them, skiing on them, you have that consistent positive activity and that takes care of the problem for the most part,” Durand said.


Durand said people can learn a lot about the program as well as register to become a volunteer online at the Municipality of Anchorage’s website.


He said an in-person training will take place on Oct. 3 at the Campbell Creek Science Center at 6:20 p.m.


KTVA 11’s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or on Twitter.


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