Earlier this semester, the body of  Sgt. Shane Scott Pease was found by a jogger on the Bolin Creek Trail, a local greenway in Chapel Hill. The event seemed like a plot from N.C.I.S. brought to life.

So how safe are Chapel Hill’s parks?

Since 2011 there have been 42 violations of the law within Chapel Hill Parks and the Bolin Creek Trail greenway, according to data received from Chapel Hill Police Department. Of the 42 incidents, four were drug-related and three were alcohol-related.

Here is a map of all of the incidents:

View Park Safety in a larger map

“I think the parks are very safe,” said Jim Orr, assistant director of recreation operations. “Typically at all of the athletic fields and events we have a staff member present for general oversight and to make sure that the park is safe.”

The most common incident involved property, such as willful damage of property, vandalism, or larceny. There were only four sightings of suspicious persons or vehicles and only three violent crimes: assault, fighting and attempted robbery.

“Most crimes are graffiti related,” Orr said. “But we have procedure to call the police within 24 hours and remove it. We do take precautions against it such as bike patrols by the police.”

In regards to other crimes, Orr said that those were isolated incidents.

How to get involved

Check out the Chapel Hill Police Department Police2Citizen website. It lists the North Carolina Sex Offenders Registry and also has assistance for anyone who has been a victim.

The Chapel Hill police also assist in the Community Safety Partnership and Project Safe Neighborhood. In both of the programs, citizens promise to watch for suspicious activity to keep their community safe.