Page images
PDF
EPUB

critical issues relating to the utilization of professional and nonprofessional personnel, the validity of existing formulas of staffing ranger services, and the kinds of training that will contribute effectively to the programmatic changes which seem imminent.

The increased need for and the utilization of recreation areas is a fact of life in the United States. The tremendous increase of visitors in

recreation areas has brought a natural increase in the number of crimes conmitted and consequently, an increase in the need for visitor protection. Clearly stated, the growth of recreation areas has resulted in a greater flow of people and has multiplied the opportunity for disruptive behavior to operate. This profound change and increase in the use of recreation areas has in many instances seriously strained normal utilization of the areas and has notably increased social tensions. Hence, the recreation areas are fast becoming very much in need of increasing control by Corps officials.

The presence of crime is now a central factor in American life, with an increasing number of citizens becoming victims of crime. All citizens are victims of the fear of crime. The Army Corps of Engineers is no exception. The problem of law enforcement at Corps lakes as discussed in Chapter 6, indicates that the public is exposed to a considerable amount of risk of being victimized at Corps projects. While we do not recommend, in response to this situation, that Corps rangers become full law enforcement officers, there is a significant amount that they can accomplish within their own capacity to make recreation areas safer for the visiting public. Without sufficient training, however, this capacity to respond appropriately will be significantly reduced.

During the past decade, major improvements have been made in law enforcement training. Statewide training legislation, federally funded community relations programs, and the response of educational institutions to the learning needs of law enforcement agents have added measurably to the quantity and quality of training at all levels.

Any effort to improve the ability of rangers to respond appropriately to the needs of park visitors, must embrace an examination of the importance of preparation of both newly appointed and career officers. One cannot deny the fact that the duties and responsibilities of a ranger are sufficiently complex that he must receive immediate indoctrination to enable him to function effectively.

The basic purpose of ranger training is to prepare rangers so that they may perform their job-related tasks in such a way as to assure the maximum level of effectiveness and public satisfaction. The accomplishment of this general purpose occurs when the trainee has been provided with the specific information essential to his understanding of his duties, when he is given an opportunity to recognize and develop the essential skills of his task and when his attitudes are made consonant with the Corps philosophy and objectives.

Beyond the purpose of developing the individual's abilities, the training experience is also utilized for other purposes. For example, formalized training programs frequently serve to provide the employing agency with its first opportunity to evaluate the trainee to determine his potential suitability. Where training is offered to newly appointed rangers, it should be a requirement that they satisfactorily complete the training program in order to retain their position. Thus, training becomes an extension of the selection process. Another important reason for providing training to newly appointed individuals is to reduce the liability for damages incurred by one of their agents. When it can be demonstrated that the agency discharged its responsibilities through adequate training, that liability is often reduced or eliminated.

The present system of ranger training for the Corps of Engineers is insufficient. It consists, on the average, of three days of training in the enforcement of Title 36 Rules and Regulations and several slide photo programs relating to the issuance of citations and warnings under Title 36.

The actual and potential scope of responsibilities which the ranger is called upon to perform requires a significantly greater degree of both pre-service basic training and continuous in-service refresher and advanced training. The development of both of these forms of training should be a priority in the process of professionalizing the ranger force and should follow the recommended 50-hour minimum training requirement set forth in the Standards section of this report. The development of the training program will generally follow the following format:

Perform an analysis of current and projected ranger skill requirements, basic knowledge needs, and the overall requirements associated with protecting the natural resources and assisting law enforcement in protecting visitors.

Compare training needs with the current level of training.

Analyze the current and projected training needs insofar as
Corps developmental planning requirements are concerned.

Review the training programs utilized by related park and recreation systems.

Develop alternative methodologies for the administration and organization of the training program.

Design a curriculum which meets the needs of the ranger force.

Develop an implementation plan.

Evaluate the program after the first year of operation.

The process of planning and operating a training program is generally divided into two major areas of responsibility; namely, the training program and its administration.

Administration is concerned with the management of personnel, money, and resources in order to achieve an effective, efficient and economical operation.

are:

Some general administrative considerations in program development

determining the type of training needed; the personnel to be trained; statement of the objectives and standards of performance to be achieved;

the training philosophy; policies and procedures necessary to achieve these objectives.

The degree of success in a training program is generally in direct proportion to:

The desire and ability of the administrator to establish the
program,

The desire and ability of the personnel involved to accept
such training.

Analyses of successful programs tend to reflect certain characteristics that are typical of a productive, on-going and expanding program. These qualities include, but are not limited to:

A high degree of personal contact and mutual interest in the
program by the chief administrator with those responsible for
implementing the program. This does not imply a failure to
delegate but rather demonstrates his support, concern and in-
volvement.

A constant awareness by the administrator of the need for support and participation by the community. In addition to financial support, it entails developing a closer working relationship and understanding between the ranger and the community.

C. Approach to Training

A primary factor in establishing and conducting a training program at a moderate cost is to actively solicit support, involvement and participation by interested and qualified members of the local community. Assuming that a positive attitude toward training is present, conferences with supervisors and field personnel and relevant law enforcement agencies can be extremely productive.

The Corps should consider a multi-level approach to training which could consist of the following interrelated aspects:

Basic Recruit Training. It is recommended that, at a minimum,
50 hours of recruit training be conducted prior to the ass ump-
tion of ranger duties for both permanent and seasonal employees.
Human relations training is mandatory. This could be accomplished

56-070 O. 75 - 21

Another alternative would be to conduct one or two training sessions during Christmas and/or Easter break. This is the best time to train permanent employees because of the lull in visitation and seasonal college students could also attend. The mutual benefit from this contact would be worthwhile.

Roll Call Training. This form of training is widely used by
law enforcement agencies and could be easily adopted by the
Corps for the fulfillment of pre-service and on-going training
requirements. Utilized consistently, 15 minutes just prior to
each shift, these sessions can be used to discuss subjects of
direct and timely pertinence to the site or to refresh previous
training. Training cassettes which have been developed, should
be expanded to cover more areas of concern. The concept of the
IACP Training Keys is a good model.

Intensive In-Service Training. During the course of each year one or more one-week courses should be offered to permanent as well as part-time rangers. Provided in the form of workshops, each ranger should be required to attend at least one annually in alternating subject areas. Part-time seasonal employees should be granted access to these courses as well as given credit for attendance toward later potential full-time employ

ment.

Supervisory and Management Training. This form of training should be provided for those seeking promotion to supervisory or managerial levels or for those who are presently in those positions. Subjects particular to recreation resource management should be emphasized together with more generic subject matter such as the psychology of leadership, decision-making, role of the supervisor and relationships with subordinates, work performance appraisal, managing the organization, management functions, planning and related topics.

Sources of information related to instruction in these areas can be

obtained from local vocational education, junior colleges, universities, technical institutes, regional police training schools, and other agencies involved in training. While the scheduling of personnel for enrollment to various courses should consider particular needs at the Corps and project levels, it can also provide the opportunity for continued selfdevelopment by those rangers who demonstrate special interest, aptitudes or abilities.

« PreviousContinue »