Hog Tied On The Monon

Shortly after several attacks occurred on the Monon the Mayor’s office said they would step up police patrols.  The trail winds its way from Downtown Indy, through bad parts of town, into artsy parts, through woods, and over rivers, before leaving the metro area to the north.  The trail then runs north into neighboring towns both exclusive, and Middle America.  I use that trail every morning at 6:30 AM.  I start at 62nd street in Broad Ripple and travel over the river and through the woods to 86th street, then back again.  I start behind the McDonalds.  The only crime on that part of the trail, the McDonalds drive through is always busy.  I can hear the speakers from where I’m getting ready.  “My name is Alisha.  Can I interest you in a caramel apple parfait?” All of the patrols in the world can’t prevent people from committing battery on their heart by eating dessert for breakfast.   Once I pulled away from the assault on my senses I saw some lame attempts at patrolling the trail.  Someone forgot to tell the mayor that patrolling any trail means stepping foot on it…and moving to and fro.  It doesn’t mean sitting in the patrol car next to the trail in the heart of Broad Ripple, one block from the McD’s, your breakfast parfait store (not kidding).  I would suggest the use of a bike unless you are enjoying a breakfast parfait while patrolling the trail.  That won’t work unless you are patrolling on a recumbent bike.  Then by all means eat, text, bring a pillow, and nap after the sugar rush subsides.   Honestly are you trying to catch criminals or zzz’s if you are patrolling a trail by sitting in a parked car next to the trail?  I saw the shape of most of those patrolmen.  Occasionally one of them would get out of the car and lean against the hood.  He was leaning for a reason.  He was out of breath from getting out of the car.  I think they were pulled from desk jobs to patrol the trail.  Those guys weren’t going to be chasing anyone on foot.  I also saw a police woman driving her patrol car down the multi-purpose trail.  I really don’t think that’s what the planners had in mind when they coined the phrase multi-purpose trail.  I don’t blame the officers for any of this halfhearted presence.  I think the leaders of the police force were against patrolling the trail.  It falls under the jurisdiction of Indy Parks.  They probably wanted park rangers out there and lost that battle.  One morning while leaving the trail I saw an officer getting ready to patrol on a bike.  I kneeled and bowed in worship his normalcy.  He said he was the only officer from the West district who was qualified to patrol on a bike.  Is anyone else wondering what it takes to become qualified?  Do they have to start with training wheels then pass a riding test?  Can I watch the test?

In Carmel they patrol the Monon on Segway’s.  I’m not sure which is worse.  Patrolling in a parked car or cruising the trail like a mall cop.  I wish I was sitting in the meeting when the budget for Segway’s was approved.  They should have gotten Disney to sponsor them because those cops look goofy.  Talk about an emasculating mode of transportation.  I suppose tricycles weren’t practical?  Is it just about using police presence to thwart crime?  If so then walk it.  In the meantime have a hand full of officers join a fitness program so they can become “certified” to patrol on a real bike. 

So as I’m heading over the first bridge headed north bound and away from the parked police presence I see a woman walking her dog near the other end of the bridge. She’s in the north bound lane.  Her German Shepard was across the trail on the outside edge of the south bound lane.  He was on a retractable leash.  I slowed and called out to the woman.  She didn’t hear me.  I tried again to no avail.  So I slowed to a crawl.  The dog faked right and cut left like a Pro Bowl wide receiver.  He darted around me and tied my legs together with his leash then darted back to his owner.  My rollerblades flew out from under me.  My legs were tied together like a steer in a rodeo.  I grabbed the bridge rail to prevent flipping on my head.  My leg was bleeding.  The leash was embedded in my ankle.  I’d been mugged by a mutt, robbed…of my dignity.  There is nothing police presence could have done to prevent that.  Especially if he had to put down his McMuffin and actually get out of the car.

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