This year, the City of Carlsbad created a pilot Ranger Program to provide enhanced security and protection of the city’s trails, parks and protected open space areas. This is a summary of the program’s activities during its first quarter of operation. The time period includes July 1 to September 30.
To prepare for the program, the Police Department gathered equipment and supplies that included a vehicle and uniforms to clearly identify the rangers, and two Police Department employees volunteered to take on the duties of the new rangers.
Next the new rangers coordinated with the Parks & Recreation, Fire, Community & Economic Development and Public Works departments on program design, patrol priorities and roles.
Also, the Rangers met with trail volunteers to assess current needs and priorities.
Here is a snapshot of the first quarter
At the preserves, the rangers worked a total of 347.45 hours and made 777 public contacts.
Northwest Preserves – 22.65 hours and 41 contacts
Northeast Preserves – 142.05 hours and 374 contacts
Southwest Preserves – 104.7 hours and 289 contacts
Southeast Preserves – 78.55 hours and 72 contacts
At parks beaches and lagoons, the rangers made 427 public contacts.
In total, the rangers documented 1,204 contacts with the public. Contacts were generally about:
Education and awareness about the new Ranger Program.
Educational and awareness about associated laws and municipal codes.
Over half the contacts and 341 of the patrol hours were made in the habitat management plan preserve areas.
The following issues were documented by the rangers during their first quarter patrols
Dogs off leash or in a location where dogs are not allowed – the rangers gave verbal or written warnings to 203 dog owners.
Animal waste on the trails.
Illegal camping – the rangers gave verbal or written warnings to 22 offenders for camping on the beach or in the preserves and asked the campers to move along.
Vandalism – the rangers contacted 16 people on suspicious of vandalism.
Illegal fishing – the rangers contacted 22 people for illegally fishing in the preserve.
Safety issues – the rangers contacted 57 people for issues like hazardous play, illegal skateboarding and illegal fires. The also contacted 14 people for illegal smoking, 18 people for drinking alcohol and 4 people on suspicion of drugs. Further, a ranger contacted the County Department of Animal Control for assistance with a rattle snake found on a trail.
Here is a list of calls made by the community for service by the rangers listed by type
312 Extra patrol – special requests for patrols in specific areas
14 Municipal code complaint
10 Hazard – item or behavior
8 Check area request
8 Special meeting
3 Flagged by citizen
3 Found property
2 Theft report
2 Traffic collision
1 Animal control
1 Citizen assist
1 Assist Fire Department
1 Assist outside agency
1 Noise complaint
The community has responded with a highly positive reaction to the new Ranger Program and the services the rangers have provided.