Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Protests and the Watchful Eye

Protests block an entrance to the site.

Hello my name is Nicholas Fitzke and I am the ProRanger currently stationed at San Juan National Historic Site.

Very busy week here in San Juan. Once again we were dealing with protesters in the areas surrounding the site. There are many different groups of interest in Puerto Rico.

Like last week my supervising ranger and I patrolled the areas that would most likely be affected by these protests. And at one point local/state police closed the main road to allow the protesters to pass. This blocked one of our entrances. 

This just shows how events in the local community can affect site operations. Like before we were on high alert because big movements of people can draw people with less peaceful agendas.

I also got to practice surveillance techniques this week. We were on the lookout for any suspicious characters that might have some nefarious intent. I got comfortable with using binoculars in combination with recording devices such as my camera and phone. By doing this we can monitor suspicious activity from a long distance and have documentation for later use.
Monitoring suspicious activity.

We even practiced tailing suspects throughout the main locations within the site and other portions of the jurisdiction.

Long distance surveillance of prohibited activity.

Although this was just practice it was a good introduction in how rangers must utilize limited resources at times. It also taught me more about the legal system, evidence, and documentation. I also learned what kinds of actions are considered to be suspicious and worth investigating. 

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