State Employee Union: Park Rangers Undertrained, Underprepared
A union that represents the more than 300 state park officers across Michigan has filed a complaint with MIOSHA over their alleged lack of training and protections.
The Michigan State Employee Association says that reality for park officers is “danger,” especially during the summer season and holidays such as the Fourth of July.
According to the union, park officers have been called on to keep the peace during fights and riots which have resulted in arrests and injuries.
State Park Officers are commissioned police officers, but the union says they are not issued a sidearm, taser, soft body armor, or proper communications equipment.
Ken Moore, the union’s leader, continued; saying the safety issues not only affect the officers, but also the visitors at state parks.
DNR Spokesman Ed Golder tells MI News 26 that the agency takes employee safety very seriously and they often hold meetings where employees discuss issues.
Although, according to Golder, the DNR has seen no escalation in violent incidents at state parks, and of the 27 million visitors to the parks, 90% say they were satisfied.
He also added that the DNR is collecting data on incidents at their parks and will present the findings as part of the MIOSHA complaint.