Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Hiring, Training and Deployment of State Park Police Officers and Rangers

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) employs about 240 park police officers (year-round employees who may make arrests and are authorized to carry firearms) and about 220 public safety rangers (summer employees who assist the officers on patrols and perform other non-police duties). We examined selected activities relating to the hiring, training and deployment of these employees. We found that OPRHP’s recruitment activities encouraged a sufficient number of qualified individuals to apply for the positions of officer and ranger. However, documentation required for background checks was not always on file to show that individuals who had been hired as officers and rangers met the qualifications for the positions. In addition, nearly one-third of the officers in our sample did not meet their annual training requirements, because they did not attend a mandatory course relating to workplace safety and accident prevention. We further determined that officers and rangers were not always adequately equipped with radios and vehicles, and day-to-day staff deployment decisions were not adequately planned and documented. We recommended a number of improvements in the hiring, training and deployment practices related to these employees.

For a complete copy of Report 2004-S-43 click here.