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Cranky Old Bastard
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I'm really lucky to live within a mile of the Lake Erie to Ohio River railtrail. It is not complete yet (but close) and eventually will be able to ride a couple hundred miles from the northernmost shore of Ohio south into West Virginia.

On their website they are asking for volunteers to "police" the trail. I don't have the details yet but get the impression that you are mainly there to help people with simple first aid, advice and information and a cell phone to use in case of emergency.

You wear a vest and ID showing that you are an official trail "agent"; something like a park ranger without all the training or salary.

But another duty is giving warnings and lectures to those not following the rules. I think you even get to write out misdemeanor tickets once you've been trained and certified.

I like helping out and would enjoy the first part I've described but the second has me concerned.
I'm wondering what kind of confrontation I could expect? Would I find myself alone against a half-dozen authority-despising thugs when I'm miles deep in the woods? Not a pleasant thought.
I'm a lifelong gun nut and plan to buy a pistol and get my CCW permit but I don't think you're allowed to wear a gun on the trail.

I know the decision is solely mine but I'd like to hear what others think, thank you.
 

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You probably won't be allowed to carry a gun since you'll be considered what is colloquially known as a "rent-a-cop". It's for that reason (being called that name, not being prohibited from carrying) is why I don't think it'd be worth it. People don't take you seriously unless you can put force behind your threats. I'm not saying you'll have to do that often, but when you tell some punk teenagers that they can't ride more than two abreast, for example, the response will most likely be, "Oh yeah? And what are you gonna do about it? You can't do sh1t.".
 

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i guess it might be ok to help. but i personally dont take very kindly to "fake" police etc. that have no legal authority trying to tell me what i can or cannot do. it seems very odd to me that the position you describe would be able to give out legally binding misdemeanor tickets like the real police.(not that i would be breaking the rules, just playing devils advocate)

anyway, seems like you could get some unwanted trouble just patroling the trail? idk. as a "ccw'er" myself i wouldnt do it without a gun on me. on that note i just wouldnt do it period. in my mind i would be intentially putting myself in a situation that would raise the likely hood of ever having to use my gun for self defense. (tyring to tell strangers what to do creating confrontations) lastly, if for some reason you ever did have to protect yourself you be looked at as some police officer wanna be, carrying a gun hoping to use it etc....

just my .02c.
 

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Big is relative
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First off, in before the move.

I used a MUT on my daily commute in Hawaii for almost three years. Thirteen miles each way, nine on the MUT. I saw stuff everyday that I would have loved to correct or tell people they were in the wrong. The thing is, I had to ride it everyday and I wasn't a cop. I found that unless it was someone in trouble, ie jogger being harassed, cyclist with a flat in the rough section around Waipahu, or a lost tourist, I just ignored it and rode on.

I did have a Honolulu PD Detective's number in my cell phone and I'd call (once it was safe) to report the occassional meth lab, stripped car, or any illegal activity that I saw on my commute. Car thiefs would drive stolen cars to the path and strip them. If I saw a car being stripped or already stripped, I'd wait until I got to work or home to email a report to the Det. After one report I made about a meth lab, the city bulldozed an entire section of mangroves near Waipahu, making the area safer.
 

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I doubt I would do. I mean it sounds good but there are too many "What If Situations". If they provided good training and gave you full police powers I would reconsider. Also you need to consider insurance and compensation if you are attacked or even injured in an accident.
 

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Burnette
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Stand InThe Woods And Yell At People, For Free!

Randy99CL, no, don't do it.
You come upon a new endeavor and what pops out at you?
Insecurity, and rightfully so.
Apprehension may be a better word, you share your feelings about being far away from help with means of defense. So don't do it, simple.
You have valid concerns, who is liable for mishaps? When dealing with the public you have to know the chain of repsonsibility when something bad happens. Not just violence, but medical emergencies too. Someone gets seriuosly hurt or has a Diabetic sugar crash, what are you required/trained/certified to do? What if you do it wrong?
To do this right they should hire police/sherrifs/troopers when they are off duty (some stores do that here) to do this. They have proper training and will know what do in most situations.
Won't go into the gun crap, don't give two shakes eihter way on that BS internet snip fest.
Will say that they shouldn't burden a path hall monitor with handing out tickets, that won't go well in any situation, but if they have the money they should pony up for cheap videro cameras (cheap is relative, $150 action cam versus a full tilt Go Pro, per say) that you could trun in at the end of the day. You should have a cell phone for emergencies. You should let folks know when they are breaking the rules and let it be even when they go back to doing it thirty yards further down the path. Anything over monitoring and advising requires trained individuals with authoirty.
But, just don't do it. Your intuition is right on this one, it could go very badly.
 

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I would do it for the vest - vests are super cool!

And authority figures in vests? People really respect that.

Real answer: no, I wouldn't do it. You can always help anyone that needs it on your own, no need for a vest. And you wouldn't feel responsible for scolding people if you don't want to and having them brush you off. Basically, you can still do everything you could do if you were appointed or not.
 

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bossing people around and having minimal authority...what could possibly go wrong...?

you'll get abuse and possibly have your ass kicked.

I say go for it.
 

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I'm really lucky to live within a mile of the Lake Erie to Ohio River railtrail. It is not complete yet (but close) and eventually will be able to ride a couple hundred miles from the northernmost shore of Ohio south into West Virginia.

On their website they are asking for volunteers to "police" the trail. I don't have the details yet but get the impression that you are mainly there to help people with simple first aid, advice and information and a cell phone to use in case of emergency.

You wear a vest and ID showing that you are an official trail "agent"; something like a park ranger without all the training or salary.

But another duty is giving warnings and lectures to those not following the rules. I think you even get to write out misdemeanor tickets once you've been trained and certified.

I like helping out and would enjoy the first part I've described but the second has me concerned.
I'm wondering what kind of confrontation I could expect? Would I find myself alone against a half-dozen authority-despising thugs when I'm miles deep in the woods? Not a pleasant thought.
I'm a lifelong gun nut and plan to buy a pistol and get my CCW permit but I don't think you're allowed to wear a gun on the trail.

I know the decision is solely mine but I'd like to hear what others think, thank you.
The advice you have gotten so far is bizarre. Lots of paths have some sort of "trail ambassador" program which is pretty much what you describe. Unless the trail runs through a really rough part of town (or maybe past some of those "radical Amish") then all this nonsense about danger and fear is blown WAY out of proportion. You simply never hear reports of these kinds of issues. Never.

Do it if you want to help your local trail. If it turns into a hassle, then resign. It's not complicated.
 

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The advice you have gotten so far is bizarre. Lots of paths have some sort of "trail ambassador" program which is pretty much what you describe. Unless the trail runs through a really rough part of town (or maybe past some of those "radical Amish") then all this nonsense about danger and fear is blown WAY out of proportion. You simply never hear reports of these kinds of issues. Never.

Do it if you want to help your local trail. If it turns into a hassle, then resign. It's not complicated.

yeah, randy. we were way out of line. nothing bad ever happens in ohio.
Successful Interventions For Toledo, Ohio: Third Largest City for Child Sex Trafficking and Slavery : H.O.W. To Continue
 

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I live in Venango county, Oil City Pa, where there are some 50 miles of trail running North /South from Titusville to Emlenton/Parker. I ride all the trails a lot, I have seen Venango County Sheriff Deputies patrolling on bikes in the Brandon area during holiday weekends. Even saw them at an incident involving a truck and an four wheeler. But I have never seen any thing that I thought would be some thing , even if I had the authority , I should tell someone not to do. Sure some people wear headphones and can't hear when I yell "coming by" , and some PRO riders try and pass where and when they shouldn't , and never announce their coming by, but not much else . It was in the local paper of a local writer approaching a young male on a four wheeler while he was riding on the bike trail, and he got a knuckle sandwich, and a pair of broken glasses for his involvement.
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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The advice you have gotten so far is bizarre. Lots of paths have some sort of "trail ambassador" program which is pretty much what you describe. Unless the trail runs through a really rough part of town....
They are BOTH correct! If your a 14 year old girl skipping school... hanging on the trails may seem like a good idea... but it isn't. The trails have always been a good place to get clubbed, robbed, and raped. But then... so are the parking lots at the mall. Going outside... has risks.

In Ohio... most bicycle paths are part of the park systems. Trail volunteers "police" the trails... they don't have police authority, powers or act "as" Police. They police as in: To make clean and put in order.

That vest may keep you from getting hit by a speeding cyclist while you sweep up the broken beer bottle glass left on the trail from last nights teen pot party.

Trail volunteers also spray paint [yellow] those swells that appear in the trails from summer heat.... which alerts cyclist and helps prevent injuries. They also notate and report such damage and other problems. The Trail volunteers make the bicycle paths useable for everyone. Most of the Trail volunteers are retired... older people.
 

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Masters Neophyte
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Cranky Old Bastard
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
In Ohio... most bicycle paths are part of the park systems. Trail volunteers "police" the trails... they don't have police authority, powers or act "as" Police. They police as in: To make clean and put in order.

That vest may keep you from getting hit by a speeding cyclist while you sweep up the broken beer bottle glass left on the trail from last nights teen pot party.

Trail volunteers also spray paint [yellow] those swells that appear in the trails from summer heat.... which alerts cyclist and helps prevent injuries. They also notate and report such damage and other problems. The Trail volunteers make the bicycle paths useable for everyone. Most of the Trail volunteers are retired... older people.
Thanks Dave!
I am checking into it more and will very likely volunteer.

I do like to help people and supporting the trail system seems a great way to do it.

The only real problem I've heard of is a$$hats riding motos and 4-wheelers on the trail in the less populated areas. Going north from Warren (where I live), the trail goes about 60 miles before it enters another populous area.

Most of the Trail volunteers are retired... older people. Hey, I resemble that remark!

And I guess I never heard about the "human trafficking" problem because I've never tried to buy one! Who knew?
How much is a maid/cook going for?? Do they do Rent to Own??? :thumbsup:
 

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Thanks Dave!
I am checking into it more and will very likely volunteer.

I do like to help people and supporting the trail system seems a great way to do it.

The only real problem I've heard of is a$$hats riding motos and 4-wheelers on the trail in the less populated areas. Going north from Warren (where I live), the trail goes about 60 miles before it enters another populous area.

Most of the Trail volunteers are retired... older people. Hey, I resemble that remark!

And I guess I never heard about the "human trafficking" problem because I've never tried to buy one! Who knew?
How much is a maid/cook going for?? Do they do Rent to Own??? :thumbsup:

u better hope there isnt a demand for retiree's in the human/sex slave ring!! lol. :)

j/j. good for you. be careful. just be mindful of what you get involved in and im sure everything will be ok.
 

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Yea, on the river trail outside of Pittsburgh the problem is atv's .

Honestly a gun is about useless in most conversations., leave it at home and practice your nice voice. Explain why their actions are causing issues. If they choose to act differently having a gun isn't the answer.
Bill
 
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