RALEIGH -- Seven new state park rangers received commissions as law enforcement officers today, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
The rangers were sworn in by Superior Court Judge Douglas B. Sasser at a special ceremony in Raleigh. John Skvarla, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, spoke to the new park rangers during Thursday’s ceremony.
“It requires a significant amount of dedication and training for our candidates to earn the right to wear the campaign-style hat of a state park ranger,” Skvarla said. “These men and women are true multi-specialists who are frequently asked to assume many roles during a day at work from finding a lost hiker to giving an interpretive program to dealing with violations of state law.”
Receiving a commission as a Special Peace Officer at the end of 17-week basic law enforcement training is generally regarded as the last formal step before a ranger takes on full duties in a unit of the state parks system. During the training period prior to commissioning, a ranger is assimilated into the park and begins assuming duties in resource management and visitor service.
State park rangers are required to have at least a two-year degree, and many come to the job with four-year university degrees in natural resource or park management. Beyond law enforcement training, all rangers are trained in medical first response, search-and-rescue, wildfire suppression, natural resource management, interpretive skills and environmental education.
The rangers who received commissions are: Joshua Aaron Banks at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area; Andrew James Boos at Falls Lake State Recreation Area; Mary Catherine Griffin at Hanging Rock State Park; Autumn Marie Kahl at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park; Aaron Allan Ledford at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area; Joshua Lee McIntyre at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area; and James Thomas Rusher Jr. at Falls Lake State Recreation Area.
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