Tempe’s parks and preserves are now being covered by rangers.
The goal of the program, which begins this week, is to provide “ambassadorship and additional safety for the city's diverse parks and recreation system,” according to a release.
There are 17 rangers who will work from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day in areas that include neighborhood, community and regional parks, the parks surrounding Tempe Town Lake and the city’s preserves, the release stated.
Among the goals of the park ranger program are building community connections, increasing feelings of safety and creating a welcoming environment, city officials said.
The rangers will work alongside other city departments to dispatch resources as needed, such as the city’s CARE 7 and HOPE team, Tempe Fire Medical Rescue and Tempe Police Department.
"Rangers will focus on ambassadorship, assisting the community and providing information and education. They will be able to issue city citations for park rules violations, if necessary," the release stated.
Rangers will not carry firearms.
In the first months of the program, rangers will be educating the community on park rules, such as dogs off leash and extended ramada use.
The city operated a park ranger program years ago before it was discontinued amid budget cuts due to the Great Recession.
In addition to serving as a resource in parks, rangers will connect with the community through events and educational programs.
Meet the rangers and learn more about the program at one of the rangers’ first community events: Join Vice Mayor Jennifer Adams for Breakfast with Councilmember Berdetta Hodge, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Tempe History Museum.
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