CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) – The Town of Clayton’s new greenway patrol unit has already expanded from one officer to four.
The unit is credited with reducing incidents along Sam’s Branch Greenway, Clayton River Walk on the Neuse, and more secluded areas like Salamander Loop, the Town wrote.
Officers with the unit were recently credited with helping a mother and her three children after they got lost for upwards of six hours, a news release said.
One recent incident happened on Salamander Loop. A mother and her three children got turned around and were wandering the trail for about six hours. Officer Revis Pounds was able to locate the family, get them some water, and get them back to safety, the release said.
“Things would have ended much differently if we were not on the trail that day and did not get to them in time,” Pounds said.
Officer Randolf Baity encouraged people walking, running, or cycling on the trails to be mindful of their surroundings. He said to keep an eye out for mile markers and landmarks, and encouraged bringing a phone.
“We want people to come out and enjoy these beautiful trails,” Baity said. “We want them to know that we are here. We want them to feel comforted knowing that we are patrolling the area.”
The patrol unit began in February with one officer. The Town said it has since grown to include two full-time officers and another part-time pair.
The officers patrol the greenways on ATVs. They often stop to talk to people they meet along the way and are quick to offer a water bottle, the release said.