ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – St. Charles County is moving away from their nine park rangers commissioned as law enforcement. Beginning in February, they will use five non-commissioned law park rangers instead.
“This will allow us to allow our park rangers to focus on the educational part of the parks, interpretive services that a typical law enforcement officer can’t,” said John Greifzu, St. Charles County administration. “It was beyond law enforcement role.”
The change is about creating more public park programs, such as teaching, fishing, and mountain biking. St. Charles County is growing and so are the parks. They now have 15 parks covering approximately 4,000 acres. The security of the parks will be overseen by the St. Charles County Police Department.
This new St. Charles County plan will go into effect on February 15.
“It’s about providing the best park service to our residents that visit the park and the highest quality experience and also making sure security aspect is through the police department,” Greifzu said.
Five new positions with St. Charles County police will include security of the parks. The approach they are using is on par with what the National Park System uses. The county is also seeing major use in one of its new parks.
“We've opened three new parks. Veterans park – 50,000 people are visiting the park each month,” Greifzu said.
For those people commissioned as law enforcement park rangers, the county says it’s asking them to apply for jobs as new park rangers, as well as positions with sheriff's department and the department of corrections.