Thursday, July 14, 2011

BOST- Week 7

Last week started out with Jeff and myself participating in the Children's Day of Harbor Fest. Harbor Fest is held every year, the week of July 4th as a way to get the community and visitors involved in various activities. Children's Day consists of many stands with different crafts and activities for children to do. The LE division as well as the Interpretation division shared a stand. Interp had materials for children to make their own flags, while LE had a few National Park Service Ranger hats that the children could try on. It was great to see children coming up to us wide eyed with smiles on their faces as they put the hats on. We also had some fire safety material that we handed out to families as well as some plastic red fire hats. Our Explosives Ranger and K9 also made an appearance. Kelly the dog was a huge hit with the kids; they all huddled around her to get a chance to say hello.

Jeff and I also went through the standard Field Sobriety Test procedures with our supervisor, Kris Salapek. Salapek went through how a typical FST stop would go, and had us perform the tests as if we were the ones in question. He explained what you need to be looking for and the meaning behind the actions that are performed. He mentioned to us that you should always perform the physical tests before giving the breathalyzer test. This way you can form an unbiased opinion of the driver's actions during the test without previous knowledge of their actual BAC.

After running through the physical tests, Salapek let us try out the breathalyzer. We performed the test on one of the dispatchers, and luckily he passed the test. As the officer, you are to always explain clearly what task you want the driver to perform and then tell them to proceed. With the breathalyzer, the driver must give a long, consistent blow into the machine until the machine beeps. It will then show the blood alcohol level such as .000 in our dispatcher's case. Not every state will allow the results of the breath test in court, so it is imperative that the officer always completes the physical tests as well as the breathalyzer test.

Jeff and I also had separate experiences with suspicious and abandoned packages. I was able to go to a call for an abandoned backpack that was left in the Visitor's Center downtown. Upon arrival, Kevin Mulligan our explosives ranger and Kelly, the explosives dog, checked out the package. Kelly did not smell anything suspicious so Mulligan went through the bag. He found nothing and we then took the bag, notifying the desk where the bag would be if the owner showed up.

Jeff's experience was way more legitimate than mine. Mulligan had been walking around the Navy Yard when he spotted a soda bottle filled with a strange liquid with the top taped up. He made the call to the Boston Police Department's Bomb Squad. Once they showed up, they used their explosives robot (similar to the one we have a picture with) to cut open the bottle. They found nothing harmful, and then called a Hazmat crew to clean up the liquid. Luckily this was nothing too serious, but it just shows how prepared LE Rangers need to be, especially when in a large city setting.

I also want to take this opportunity to once again say how great of an experience it was with everyone at the Leadership Camp. I am very proud of everyone for giving their very best and overcoming any fears they may have had. I went in to the camp not knowing much about everyone and I came out with 20 close friends. I look forward to the next time we all meet and hope the next five weeks goes smoothly for everyone!

ProRangers Jeff Parente and Erin Langeheine

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