St. Petersburg, Florida - There's a new move to beef up security along the Pinellas Trail.
While police have stepped up their patrols along the trail, there's a pilot project in the works to install two dozen surveillance cameras along it. Law enforcement is hoping it will provide one more layer of protection.
Several recent incidents along the Pinellas Trail have a lot of people rethinking their safety there.
Earlier this year near 46th Street South, a couple riding their bikes were robbed at gunpoint. The woman was pistol whipped in the face and several of her teeth were knocked out. Six hours later along 28th Street, another woman who was walking alone was attacked by a group of teens with a gun. A woman was also arrested along the Pinellas Trail after police say she drove her Ford F-150 pickup truck recklessly along the trail, forcing several bicyclists off the pavement before running over several barricades.
Thanks to the city of St. Petersburg though there's a plan in the works to install about two dozen surveillance cameras between 43rd and 49th streets South on the trail at a price tag of about $100,000.
Evan Mory is the Director of Transportation and Parking for the City of St. Petersburg. He says, "This is just another tool in the toolbox to keep the users of the trail as safe as possible."
Mory, along with elected officials and law enforcement from both the city and county are doing their homework too. They hit the road for the second time Monday to check out Bradenton's Riverwalk, to see how their surveillance camera system is working there.
Mory adds, "They have a system that is one that we want to model after."
When the cameras are installed along the Pinellas Trail, though they'll be monitored around the clock by law enforcement... even in the darkness of night through infrared.
Mory says the cameras should be installed by the fall.
The recreation trail currently extends from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs and is for walking, jogging, skating, and biking. 90,000 people use the trail each month.