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 26, 2017
Off to LA
First Night in the Park
Week 8 saw a huge change of venue, and was full of
experience that Yosemite National Park couldn’t give to me just because of
location and the layout of the park. I got to spend my week in Santa Monica
Mountains National Recreation Area which is located across two counties and has
land in Beverley Hills, Malibu, and Santa Monica. This park has interesting
jurisdictional problems that Yosemite doesn’t face as well as different type of
land issues that is not at Yosemite. I did the six-hour drive on Sunday which
according to the rangers I rode with was great time for driving into the Los
Angeles area on a Sunday. In my first night in the park I checked into the
housing and explored the surrounding area to get some dinner then went down and
saw Malibu. I was surprised by just how large the park boundary was, thinking
that the Law Enforcement had to patrol and take care of all that land.
On Monday all my perceptions of the park I had made the
previous night were changed. I was given the park tour on Monday and got to
truly see how challenging it was to patrol in this park. The park has a
designated boundary but they do not have jurisdiction in all of it, they have
parcels of land inside the boundary that they patrol. They also have other
groups that have land with which the park service has no jurisdiction and the
other groups do. The park service also has no jurisdiction on the roads so the
county takes care of that. Coming from Yosemite this was a shock to me that
they don’t have jurisdiction on the roads. The parcels of land are also a good
distance apart since you have to take windy mountain roads. The land they do
patrol and look after is beautiful and it was very cool to see another side of California
while I am in the state.
Chief and Ranger Taking me Hiking
On Tuesday I got to go out to Beverley hills and hike with
the Chief of Protection in the park. We were looking to see if there was anyone
in the houses surrounding that parcel of land that was encroaching into the
park service land. We found a couple houses that overstepped their boundary
causing us to have to go talk with the homeowners. The hiking I experience at
Santa Monica Mountains was a little different than what I was used to at Yosemite
but it was still a fun time out hiking with the Chief.
Wednesday I woke up early so that a ranger and I could make
it into court in Los Angeles on time. We ended up hitting no traffic and
getting there an hour early so she took me out to see the original center of LA
and see the satellite office they have there. Court was interesting, sadly we
had no cases that day but other agencies had cases and getting to see them bargain
and dismiss some while bringing others in front of the judge was interesting.
After that we drove back and I was able to sit in on the supervisors weekly
meeting with the Chief.
Thursday I was paired with the ranger who takes care of the
drug interdiction and all of the cameras they have set up around the park to
catch people doing stuff they shouldn’t be doing. The park utilizes trail
cameras to assist the officers since they can’t sit on a location for days at a
time to catch people doing illegal things. It is a very interesting program
which took me to many different parts of the park getting the pictures off the
cards. I finished my day off by going to the beach and enjoying Malibu as much
as I could.
Firemen Giving Care to the "Patients"
On my final day in the park I got to go to an active shooter
training with two of the rangers. We went to the county training grounds for
fire and learned how to utilize small task forces, or teams of police and
firemen, to go in and help victims of a shooting. It was a very interesting idea
that I have not been exposed to before but it is an idea I will take with me
and try to pass on whenever I can. I also was able to learn basic EMS skills to
use in situations like this some of these include using tourniquets, helping
people with pneumothorax, and making sure airways were clear.
I then packed my bags and did the drive back to Yosemite on
that Saturday. The trip was great and I would like to thank all the rangers and
chief at Santa Monica Mountains for letting me come down there and giving me a
great experience in my stay down there.