Regarding the proposal for Chico Park Rangers to become sworn police officers, Councilmember Randall Stone and Bidwell Park and Playground Commissioner Tom Nickell discuss the issues with Action News Now reporter Hayley Skene.
Stone is concerned that the not-yet-formally-proposed conceptual idea will denigrate the resources and budget of the Parks Department. Acknowledging the need for law enforcement’s presence in city parks, Stone suggested that dedicating police officers to the parks is a reasonable suggestion. But shifting Park Rangers to law enforcement without exclusive coverage of the park, and reducing interpretive rangers is not the most effective use of resources – pending a formal suggestion from staff which will be coming next week to the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission.
Commissioner Nickell, serving as Councilmember Stone’s appointee to the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission is a retired CHP officer and Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force officer.