NSB Trail open to public, but policing it another matter for severely short-handed cop shop

Nsb Trail doesn't have security / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
A new trail has open in New Smyrna Beach as part of a county-wide rails to trails program, but city officials haven't said how they are going to be able top police it with a already short-handed police department.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Walkers, runners and riders now have a new path to blaze in New Smyrna Beach with Tuesday's opening of the Pedestrian Trail.

So says a press release from the municipality.

The trail spans 2.2 miles from West Pine Avenue just north of S.R. 44 off Mission Road to Sugar Mill Drive.

The 12-foot-wide, multi-use trail has been constructed in an existing utility corridor. The eastern trail head is on West Pine Avenue between Jungle Road and Pioneer Trail. The western end is next to Geiger-Glencoe Cemetery on Sugar Mill Drive. Parking is available at both ends.

Along the trail, users cross a 125-foot bridge over Turnbull Creek with intermittent benches and trash receptacles.

All of that is fine and dandy, but there's one rather large issue not addressed in the press release. Who's going to police it. "

Yeah, that's a problem," New Smyrna Beach police spokesman Master Sgt. Eugene Griffith readily conceded in a return phone message with Headline Surfer®.

All of that is fine and dandy, but there's one rather large issue not addressed in the press release. Who's going to police it. 

"Yeah, that's a problem," New Smyrna Beach police spokesman Master Sgt. Eugene Griffith readily conceded in a return phone message with Headline Surfer®.

The internet newspaper wanted to speak with Acting Police Chief Donna Lavallee about this and other police-related matters, but she's not allowed to talk to the press Griffith said. Asked where the edict came from, Griffith said, her boss at City Hall. That would be City Manager Pamela Brangaccio, whose dealings with a recent spate of police chiefs in the past two years has been suspect.

The problem with the trail is it is isolated from the main roadway and serves as a natural barrier for criminals to prey on unsuspecting joggers, bikers -- adults and children alike.

“This trail runs from the Sugar Mill area to the edge of the city’s downtown area,” according to a quote attributed in the press release to Kyle Fegley, the city's engineer. “This is just the first segment of the City’s trail plans. More segments will be added to create a longer trail that eventually will reach from I-95 to the City’s downtown and also connect with the Cross Volusia Trail.”

It's described by Fegly in the release as an "an easy walk, run or bike to Canal Street then over the North Causeway to Flagler Avenue.” Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail, Fegley added.

Construction on the $1.8 million project began March 5, and is funded jointly by the Volusia ECHO Program, the Florida Department of Transportation and its subsidiary, the Transportation and Planning Organization, otherwise known as the TPO, and the City of New Smyrna Beach.

An official ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for 9:30 a.m., Nov. 21, at the eastern trailhead on West Pine Avenue.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.