The City of Oakland is again attempting to eliminate the Park Ranger Unit. They are are planing on replacing the Ranger Unit, which is funded by the general fund wth Problem Solving Officers who are funded by Measure Y funds.
Replacing Rangers with Police Officers will reduce the availability of the Police Department to reduce crime in other areas and increase the time for response to non-emergency situations in the parks.
Police Officers will not perform the all duties of a Rangers. Rangers perform many functions that Police Officers do not do. Police Officers will just respond to calls in the park, many times hours after the call is received.
June 3, 2009 - Council member Jean Quan says We are getting emails about the Rangers and station. There are two issues. The Mayor’s budget and police department propose ending the ranger program and cutting the 3 remaining ranger positions, two are filled. Several Council members including myself are opposed to this cut and argue that the Rangers have specialized skills and knowledge esp in the wild land parks and costs are about half compared to police officers. You can email the Council your concerns about these positions, please copy me.
The Oakland Police Department is not closing the Ranger Station in Joaquin Miller. Rangers and other officers will continue to use the station. However, under the consent decree, each ranger must report to a supervising sergeant and will be part of a team of Problem Solving Officers; they will be checking in and fulfill their administrative tasks at the Downtown or Eastmont stations. We are discussing with Deputy Chief Kozicki how park coverage scheduling. (Neighborhood newsgroup 06/03/2009)
May 15, 2009 - City proposes to permanently close the Joaquin Miller Park Ranger Station May 30, 2009. After the closure, Rangers will no longer work in Oakland's largest park, but will work from the Eastmont Mall Shopping Center and the downtown police building. The Rangers will no longer patrol the City's largest and most used parks (Joaquin Miller, Dimond and Lake Merritt.) The Rangers will also be off on the busiest days of the week, Saturday and Sunday (nice for the Rangers, bad for Oakland)
May 5, 2009 - Mayor Ron Dellums released his proposed budget for the 2009-2011 fiscal years. Again he has proposed the elimination of the Park Ranger Unit and the Ranger duties will be performed by the Measure Y funded Problem Solving Officers.
April 14, 2009 - City fails to apply for grant from US Department of Justice to restore some or all of the 18 Park Ranger positions that have been eliminated since 2000. For details click here.
October 21, 2008 - City Council restored three Ranger Positions - but they cut all overtime, including holidays, special projects, and vacation coverage. Rangers will no longer work on Sundays and holidays, Rangers will no longer work after 10:00 PM or in the day time on Saturdays.
October 16, 2008 - City Council to restore three Ranger positions (in reality they are elininating 8 Ranger positions) This restoration (reduction) of Ranger positions will reduce the park coverage from 40 shifts a week to 15 shifts a week. This restoration is actually a 63% cut in Ranger Services.
Over the past 7 years, the City has reduced the number of Park Rangers from over twenty to the current three who are patrolling Oakland's more than 120 park and recreation areas.
BREAKNG NEWS! ! !
Murder at Rainbow Park. On Tuesday, April 28, a young adult who was a patron of the recreation center was murdered right in front of the center at 5:00 P.M. while the center was full of youth. This is the third shooting at the center since the most recent cut of Rangers in November.
Neighbors find smoldering bonfire in Joaquin Miller Park on Saturday morning which was a result of a large youth party in the park the night before. With no Rangers at night anymore the parks are fair game for these high school parties, which may result in the next major wildfire. Click here for more details.
Parks and Recreation staff told us that on Sunday, November 9th, 2008, which just happened to be the first day with no Rangers working, there was a shooting at De Fremery Park. Two 12 year olds were in the park when they were approached and robbed by two other juveniles. One was shot when he tried to get away from the robbers.
Some examples of the crime occurring in our parks in the past year:
* there have been two murders in Oakland's parks;
* A carjacking;
* A pitbull was shot and killed;
* Several vehicles have been torched;
* Numerous narcotics offenses;
* Many stolen and recovered vehicles;
* Auto burglaries;
* Valdalism and graffiti
This is just a small sampling of the crime occurring in Oakland's parks. It shows that we need more park Rangers, not less.
The Rangers currently patrol our parks from 9 AM to 1 AM every day, the Problem Solving Officers only work from noon to 10 PM and are off on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The parks will not be patrolled at night or on weekends, the times the parks get the most illegal use. Beat Officers do not have time to handle their own calls, and do not consider the quality of life issues in the parks as being important.
We Need Your Help to Save the Park Rangers
You can help by contacting your City Council Member and telling them that you want to keep the Park Rangers and fill the vacant Park Ranger positions.