Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gettysburg (week of July 25)

This week I continued to ride along with the law enforcement ranger I did not get to last week and it seems as though I now am responsible for opening up the National Cemetery and raising the flag on the mornings I come in early and I'm proud to have that responsibility. For the most part the ride alongs this week were not too much different than the last, each ranger had their own way of patrolling and their own general style. It may sound cliche, but no two were alike, which allowed me to get a diverse experience. This week followed the same general outline as last week, however, Wednesday of this week was probably the most eventful day I have had all summer. On this day my supervisor, Ryan Levins, took me on a tour small tour of a few parks in the NCR (National Capitol Region). We first visited Harpers ferry, which coincidentally was his first park. He introduced me to some of the staff, showed me around the park, and we even helped out of few visitors in the information center. When we left there we went to Antietam. While here we made our way around the battlefield, stopped at the visitor center briefly, and ran into the two prorangers working at Antietam when we stopped by the ranger office. Our trip ended with a brief stop at C&O Canal and a visit to the national capitol region communication center. I was introduced to the staff and given the details on how their dispatch functioned. It was very informative and was also nice to see how their dispatch operated compared to ours. After leaving there we were headed back to Gettysburg, our field trip was over. However, little did I know, the day was just getting started.
On the way home we heard a call go out over the radio about reports of a man with a gun in the park. we were still about 15-20 minutes away so we this was all unfolding while we were en route. As we got closer we heard more reports over the scanner that the suspect had left the scene and there was an ongoing pursuit for the suspect. When we arrived on scene two other rangers were there taking statements from the alleged victims. Apparently it was a road rage incident and one guy allegedly was waving a gun around. I was kind of at this point because this would be the first chance I got to witness the investigation process firsthand. I stood by while the rangers took their statements and got all of the details of the incident. While this was going on the suspects identity was confirmed and with the help of the local police, we eventually were able to track him down and have him come in voluntarily. After the statements were finished being taken, I watched as the witnesses/victims of the incident were able to positively identify the suspect. After this was done another ranger, who was not on scene while the witnesses were giving their statements but helping track the suspect down, asked him questions regarding the incident, recorded his statement, and got permission to search his vehicle.
Once this whole process was over we headed back to the ranger station and went over the facts. Watching this whole process unfold was amazing and unforgettable. I'm hoping for more of this as my summer winds down.

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