In the aftermath of the armed robbery on the Arcade Creek trail on Nov. 17, the administration and police of American River College are actively searching for ways to both alert the student body to the danger posed by the trail and prevent further crime.
ARC President Thomas Greene is looking to work with the Arcade Creek Recreation and Park District, which controls the property east of the Arcade Creek, to improve safety on the trail as part of his campus safety initiative.
Arden Creek Recreation and Park District Administrator Steve Fraher said that he has been in discussions with Ray Di Guilio, ARC’s vice president of administrative services, about signage on the trail.
“We need to educate the public not to use the trail alone and to always walk with a friend,” said Fraher.
Greene said that an increased presence on the trail, as well as clearing brush and erecting better signage, would help improve safety.
“It might be physical changes, like clearing brush back so that someone can’t — for lack of a better way to describe it — jump out of the bushes without being seen. It gives someone a little bit more warning. It may involve prevention where there’s better signage to give students better advice or tips moving through this space,” said Greene.
Greene said that a statement from his task force looking into campus safety should be ready by December or January.
Sgt. Mike Olson of the Los Rios Police Department said that the Los Rios police have authority on even the parts of the trail that are not on Los Rios property.
“As police officers in the state of California, our jurisdiction extends to anywhere in the state of California for anything we need to do related to our duties,” said Olson.
Los Rios Police Department Corporal Noah Winchester said that the Los Rios Police Department’s “nexus” policy means they can patrol the trail.
“We still have an obligation to our students to make sure that they’re safe in and around our college,” said Winchester. “We stepped up our patrol over there. We frequently drive back there.”
Winchester said that even crime not committed on the Los Rios side of the trail will be reported to the general college population by the LRPD.
“Any type of felonious crime that’s in and around our college, we want to let the students and the staff know,” he said.
Winchester reported that there are several crime and safety issues concerning the trail.
“We have people that set up tents out there … we have a lot of narcotic activity, people out there hiding in the bushes smoking marijuana or methamphetamine, so I’m looking for all that kind of stuff,” he said.
Winchester says that he likes to make a physical presence on the trail.
“Speaking from the perspective of the Los Rios Police Department, just because it’s not on the property doesn’t mean it’s not an issue for us,” he said.