As Wednesday rolled around we spent the day with Natural Resources. In the morning we worked with YCC, a program for high schoolers, and did mile a minute weed pulling. It does feel like we are helping the forest at VaFo because we fill up over 20 bags each time with the weeds! Afterwards we got to try out cray-fishing to help stop the invasive species of the rusty cray-fish from taking over Valley Creek. Eric had no luck but Lexus caught a few! We also found another tipee in the words on a foot patrol with Ranger oh that has to be taken down.
|Ready for cray-fishing|
|Aftermath of Mile-a-Minute weeding|
|illegally parked/suspicious vehicle|
Friday we were put on the night shift as we got set up with ride-alongs for the entire shift. Eric went with Ranger Bungard and Lexus with Ranger Blasco. We listened to everything the Rangers told us throughout the night because they were flooding us with information that is important to know for Law Enforcement. We were giving ballistic vests to wear as a safety precaution because you never know what is going to happen out there. While doing patrols with Ranger Blasco, Lexus got to learn about using the radar to check drivers' speeds as Ranger Blasco's vehicle was outfitted with the radar. The radar or physical observation of the Ranger is not enough to pull someone over. Ranger Blasco told Lexus that a Ranger should guess an upcoming vehicle's speed and if it is +/- 5 MPH of what shows up on the radar then it is fine to pull that vehicle over. This is to ensure accuracy of the radar and as a double-effort to show that the individual was in fact speeding. It was hard at first to guess the cars' speeds but after a little time Lexus began to guess within the 5 MPH range. Ranger Bungard spoke to Eric about the need for reasonable suspicion or probable cause to be able to pull someone over. Reasonable suspicion has less of a burden of proof than probable cause but probable cause is needed to arrest or issue a citation and while detaining in a traffic stop on a reasonable suspicion basis you need to think about if another Ranger with the same training as you and in the same situation would or could they act in the same manner. This is called objectively reasonable that both Rangers spoke to us about. This is also used in situations when force is needed. Was it objectively reasonable, would another officer like I stated before, use the same type of force in the situation you were in? Ranger Bungard also spoke about how duty sidearms always have a round in the chamber with a full mag and at least two extra mags on the belt while the large guns, shotgun and rifle, have a loaded mag but no round in the chamber. The information both Rangers provided us during the ride-along was awesome to learn about. These things we will learn about in the academy but it always good to get ahead start on things and doing ride-alongs helped us learn the in and outs of a Rangers driving patrol and how/when you're allowed to pull someone over. (this is very, very important to know about and be able to distinguish reasonable suspicion and probable cause). At the end of the night we helped close the park then had a quick turn around shift as we had to open the park in the morning. It was good to get a feel of working quick turn around shifts. See everyone at camp in a couple of days and we threw in a couple more photos from the field-trainee's scenarios.
ProRangers Eric Morgan and Lexus Ocampo