TEMPLE WEATHER

Rangers may patrol Temple parks in 2023

City may hire a force of four to keep recreational areas safe

DAVID STONE | OUR TOWN TEMPLE

Over the years, Temple parks have been targeted by arson, graffiti and other acts of vandalism. There has even been a pig-napping at Oak Creek Park, better known as Pig Park because of the three swine statues that greet visitors to the barn-themed playground and exercise trail.

While vandalism likely will remain an issue to some degree, Temple officials are considering a move that could take a big bite out of recreational  crime.

“We are looking into implementing a park ranger program to provide security and increase public safety at Temple parks and trails,” City Manager Brynn Myers said today. “We want to provide a dedicated presence at our parks to make sure everyone knows and follows expectations and guidelines. We want our recreational areas to be safe.”

Myers said the new force would patrol Temple’s growing number of parks and trails on a regular basis. The ranger program likely would be implemented in 2024.

“We’re looking at having a starting force of four,” Myers said. “We would have a lead ranger and three park rangers.”

Myers said the city is still finalizing details.

“At this point, we’re not sure if the park rangers would be part of the Temple Police Department or part of Parks & Recreation,” she said. “They definitely will have law enforcement training and will work closely with other city departments.”

The rangers will likely be outfitted similarly to city officers.

“They will probably use trucks as their law enforcement vehicles,” Myers said. “Some parks, such as Miller Springs, have some pretty rough terrain.”

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