GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009
Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
Send us your stories, ideas, and information. Insiders welcome - confidentiality guaranteed.
stories along The Way
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Dantes View of hell
Dante's View engulfed by the inferno during the 2007 Griffith Park fire.
If park rangers aren't patrolling the parks, where exactly are they?
Ten public officer park rangers have been pulled from park patrol, and are now paid to do effectively nothing. Some are rumored to be using "on duty" time to catch up on their tv viewing. Meanwhile a popular chief park ranger with 30 years experience is sitting in an office downtown, having been moved there by Recreation and Parks with no substantiated reason for having done so. Three of the four remaining senior peace officer park rangers took E-RIP to escape unqualified management, and will not be replaced.
That's eleven qualified park rangers who have been removed from patrol duty, and three veterans chased out of the department. Why?
The Department has no good answer for either. Regarding the ten public officers, the department's only direct public comment answering the question has been that '...the parks are too dangerous for (public officers) to patrol'.*
That's a huge admission, saying that City parks are too dangerous for even park rangers. A darned scary statement, too, given that public officers are a class in the CA Penal Code (sections 830.7, 831) that, although not full peace officers, have a certain level of enforcement ability and the knowledge and training to carry it out. The public officer park rangers' MOU with the department states explicitly that they can and do perform patrol duties.
The park ranger buck stops with the department's general manager - Jon Kirk Mukri. Drop him a line - JonKirk.Mukri(at)lacity.org - and ask why. See what reason/excuse you're fed. Then post it here in comments so the public can dissect the baloney.
*Assistant GM Kevin Regan to the Sepulveda WASC Committee (October 2009)
Ranger images hat tip to: Daylife.com/Getty Images and MikesPhotos.us