Kansas City has a crime problem and now, even public parks may not be safe for citizens.
KCTV5 News reports that Kansas City’s parks will soon have armed park rangers to ensure public safety.
A total of five rangers will be hired and all of them will be licensed to carry guns.
The rangers will oversee all the parks, but more focus will be put on larger parks like Jacob L. Loose Park, just south of the swanky Kansas City Plaza area. In addition Swope Park will see additional security. They’ll also patrol the bike and running trails in the city.
Not only will the park rangers be licensed to carry guns, but they’ll also have the authority to write tickets.
The Public Safety committee for the city decided to start this program due to crimes taking place in the parks.
This includes stabbings, loitering, graffiti and murders.
According to a committee member, KCPD doesn’t have the resources to have its own officers patrolling the parks all the time.
The safety committee came up with the program so they could have a more reliable presence in the parks.
The city hopes education and enforcement of park rules by the Rangers will prevent violent crime from happening.
The money to hire the park rangers will come from the Parks Department budget.
Retired police sergeant Jeff Hurley is leading the ranger program.
“If you want to be a park ranger some of the requirements are that you have had police training in your background or extensive security experience,” Park Ranger supervisor Jeff Hurley said.
The idea is to have everyone hired and trained within the next few months.
If you are interested in becoming a park ranger, you can apply online through the city’s website.