Tuesday, July 17, 2012

VAFO Week 9 Lexus Ocampo & Eric Morgan

Illegal fire pit
 Welcome back to the blog! Week 9 flew by especially knowing that our internship is ending in a few weeks. We began the week going on the canoe and doing a boat patrol. Again, there were few people out on the river that day but we did stop onto Catfish Island this time. On the island we found a few beer cans and an illegal fire pit. On the island there was also another tee-pee that we had to take down. The next day was a usual day in which we just did out foot and bike patrol.

During bike patrol we noticed that one of our bigger flags was flying half staff while others were flying full staff.  We called the chief ranger to ask why that one flag was flown half staff and what we should do with that flag or the other flag. He told us that it was only flown half staff the day before and that it shouldn't be like that. So he gave us permission to correct that mistake.

The next day we worked with the adjudicated juveniles from St. Gabriel's Hall. We worked with resource management along with St. Gabriel's Hall to help control the invasive plant species. We went to a section of the park to pull mile-a-minute weeds, cut vines, and remove non-native berry bushes and thistles. The teenagers from St. Gabe's were very happy that they would be working with us because they knew that we were in a law enforcement program. Most of them were interested in the ProRanger program and wanted to know how we got in the program. They were all into the work we were doing and we managed to get a lot done that day. Many of the juveniles were from the city and during our breaks they were able to see some of the wildlife that they are not used to in the city. We saw hawks and a bunch of praying mantis. They asked a lot of questions about the plants and animals and we probably learned just as much as they did that day.

After working with the kids from St. Gabe's, we worked with the new field trainee. We did more role play to see how he reacts in certain situations and his skill level after leaving FLETC. Again, we learned a lot more things about officer safety and handcuffing techniques. 

Towards the end of the week, we worked with maintenance and helped them to renovate an older house. Our job for that day was to move all the old windows and put them in the truck to bring back to maintenance. Then our job was to hammer all the nails that were sticking out from the outside of the house because out ultimate goal for that day was to wrap the house in Tyvek paper. On Saturday we were able to visit Independence to see what it was like there. Stephanie Flecha and Rachel Smith gave us a tour of INDE and showed us the things that they do over there. Ranger Ryan talked to us and gave us training about the use of force (how much to use and when to use it). Then Ranger Brian gave us an introduction on the taser (how it is used and its anatomy). The training was very insightful and we're sure that it will give us a step up when going into the academy.

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