Eight new state park rangers received commissions as law enforcement officers recently at several, small ceremonies across the state.
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.
“It requires a lot of dedication and training for our candidates to earn the right to wear the campaign-style hat of a state park ranger,” said Mike Murphy, state parks director. “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.”
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 curricula related to natural resource and/or park management. Beyond law enforcement training, all 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: Patrick Joseph Amico at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area; Alyssa Christine Taylor at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area; Kimberly Jean Abramowski at Falls Lake State Recreation Area; Malcolm Scott Davis at Falls Lake State Recreation Area; Nicholas Paul Dioguardi at William B. Umstead State Park; Amy Renee Shepherd at Lake Norman State Park; Chelsea Elizabeth Fowler Arey at Falls Lake State Recreation Area and Katherine Lynne Sanford at Dismal Swamp State Park.