The ProRanger Philadelphia program is an academic, technical skills training, and internship program that is cooperatively administered by the National Park Service and Temple University. The program was established to recruit, train and employ law enforcement park rangers for the National Park Service.
Students take coursework during the academic year at Temple University and participate in internships at National Park Service sites during the summer. Follow their experiences here.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Cuyahoga Valley NP Week 7
Rangers and Troopers working together on DUI checkpoint
week was very exciting! It started with a DUI checkpoint with the help of the
Ohio State Highway Patrol. The Ohio State Highway Patrol does many DUI
checkpoints, but only once before have they done it in the park. This was a
great opportunity on both ends to go beyond the normal duties and do something
bigger. The OSHP got the chance to work in the park, and the rangers got a
chance to work on a DUI checkpoint, and see all the coordination and everything
that goes into it, and learn the procedures to conduct one. I got the chance as
well to see all this, and see just how a checkpoint does work because I have
never seen one in action. One of the biggest things I learned was that the
checkpoints are not set up with the intention of arresting as many people as
possible, but they are set up to get public awareness about drunk driving and
to make people think twice before drinking and driving. Working with the OSHP
was a very neat experience and they were very helpful to me and told me about
the work they do. We did not end up arresting anyone for drinking, but we did
cite people for having drugs. The DUI checkpoint went very well, and it was a
great experience for everyone. I learned a lot and was thrilled to have gotten
the chance to talk with the OSHP. Thank you Ohio State Highway Patrol!
I also started working the night shift this week. I have
been looking very forward to this! We start in the daytime when all the
visitors are still around, but then as the sun sets most everyone leaves, and
when it becomes dark the park has a totally different atmosphere. We still make
friendly visitor assists throughout the day, and around dusk and into the night
we drive around locking up, and checking out areas to look for damage,
graffiti, and anything out of place.
Ranger Swaggard made a fishing license check on a man
fishing, and he ended up having drugs on him; or as we call it here, PCS- possession
of controlled substance. I was able to get to the scene with a couple other
rangers and watch how Swaggard carries out this situation. I watched as she
searched the vehicle and how she and the other rangers handled contact with the
man, calling everything into dispatch, calling to get the vehicle towed, and
all the other actions to carry out the contact. It was a great experience to
see how to handle things, especially because it started with what seemed to be
a simple fishing license check but became so much more.
Testing for drugs
When we got back to the office Swaggard showed me what to do
with the drugs and evidence. We weighed the drugs to see exactly how much it
was, and then I got a chance to actually test the drug- marijuana with a test
kit. The purple means positive, so it is marijuana! Then we tagged everything,
put it in the appropriate envelopes, and dropped it into the evidence box.
Swaggard went over all the proper procedures about sealing up the evidence so
you know it is not tampered with, what to do if you have to go back and get
something to do more testing or whatever the case is, and documenting
everything. It was an exciting and educational day.
We had some kids shooting off firework s on the fourth of
July. Not only is it illegal to do in a park, but fireworks are also illegal in
Ohio, so these kids knew better. Again it was great to see how a situation like
this was handled, and the different options there are whether you want to give
them a verbal warning, written warning, or citation. Talking to the ranger that
cited them, it was interesting to see why he decided to carry out the citation.
Officer discretion allowed him to weigh his options, and he decided to cite
based on the amount of litter the kids were leaving behind. I think it is great
for me to see why rangers decide to go one way or another with actions so I can
see what other factors to take into consideration.
Another day Ranger Swaggard made contact with a dog of
leash. The man turned out to have drugs on him, and he gave consent for the
Ranger to search the vehicle. I again got to watch and see how Swaggard handled
the situation and watch her conduct the vehicle search. This again was another
example of how one visitor contact can lead into something else, so you must
always be ready for anything.
This week was full of law enforcement action and I am so
excited about being able to work the night shift! More adventures to come!