Friday, July 29, 2011

FOMC- Law Enforcement/ Youth EXPO

I had an amazing week! The law enforcement division is really teaching me all that they can. I have done a wide variety of activities all in just one week. My chief ranger is so encouraging and wants me to learn all that I can! He knows every piece of information I retain can only help me become a better, more well rounded, ranger and can be used all throughout my law enforcement career. I have been working with an amazing Law Enforcement ranger. She explains everything in great detail to make sure I understand what we are doing and why we are doing it. She has taken me under her wing to show me the in and outs of every aspect of what LE rangers at FOMC do.

In the beginning of the week, Sierra and I held a meeting with the interpretive staff to inform them about the updated Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), what their role would be, and where to locate the EOP binder for reference. This is very important, because in the event that something happens at the park there is a set spot for reference on how an interpretive staff member should safely handle the situation. Ensuring every member is aware of the EOP and is debriefed on it is crucial to their understanding of the operations; therefore, holding a division-wide meeting is essential to ensuring the success of the EOP. To make sure proper security measures are being taken at all times, I spent some time going through the key cabinet and logging each key identification number to make sure there were no doubles and at any time all the keys could be accounted for. Additionally, I learned how to cut new keys and imprint identification numbers on each key. I was shown how to look up and use location codes and case incident codes for the park. These codes are used anytime an LE has to write a case incident report.

I went on a ride along with Sierra and sat at the main gate doing traffic patrol. I had the chance to observe a traffic stop for a failure to stop at a stop sign, and I was able to assist with filling out a written warning. When a vehicle traffic stop is done, every action we take promotes safety. When you initiate the stop you turn on the lights and sirens. Whenever the sirens are turned on, the in-car camera automatically turns on. This provides video evidence of what occurred during the vehicle traffic stop. Additionally, whenever a stop takes place, the law enforcement officer calls it into dispatch to let dispatch know they are initiating a stop and to check for any wants, warrants, legal registration, and such. The officer wants to hear that everything comes back clear and valid. The LE officer observes how compliant the individual is and makes sure that the individual is not carrying any weapons. Whenever a stop is finished, the LE ranger must call dispatch to inform them that they are safe and no longer on the stop.

On Thursday, July 27th, I had the opportunity to go to Anacostia Park in Washington D.C. to a Youth Expo to promote the youth programs that the National Park Service is involved in. I spent the day with six other ProRangers. We were all immediately excited to see each other! We had a great time doing interviews and taking pictures to help promote the Philadelphia ProRanger program. Mark Clarke and Jay Cooper even volunteered to go on stage and speak about the program and the incredible opportunities it holds for the individuals involved!I really enjoyed getting to spend the day with Regional Chief Will Reynolds! I would have to say that my favorite part of the day was when my fellow ProRangers, Charles and Mark, entertained everyone with their inexperience on a pair of roller skates!

I hope that we can do a lot more things like this together. It allows us to promote the ProRanger program as well as spend time with each other. It is great and extremely memorable!

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