Series established April 25, 1973
This series specification describes three State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) classes in the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) series describes professional positions involved in the law enforcement and visitor services functions of the State park system. Incumbents in this series work primarily in field districts of the State park system including State parks, reserves, historical units, recreational areas, beaches, wayside campgrounds, and underwater parks. Positions are also assigned to Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division Units located throughout the State.
Positions in the State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) series perform professional and technical duties in State park units involving operation, interpretation, resource protection/management, patrol, safety and law enforcement, assist with program management activities, and may supervise and/or serve as a lead to seasonal and lower-level permanent staff. Incumbents may also perform staff functions of comparable difficulty and responsibility in an academy training assignment.
Incumbents are trained and designated as sworn State park peace officers whose authority extends statewide (on or off duty). They perform patrol duties primarily by vehicle, boat, and foot patrol; issue citations; write reports; make physical arrests for misdemeanors, felonies, and warrants; conduct criminal and administrative investigations; take command in emergencies; perform search and rescue activities, including detecting and rescuing persons or vessels in distress; assist in wildland and structural fire suppression; provide emergency medical aid; and may also perform traffic control and radio dispatching.
Incumbents may perform specialized assignments in cliff rescue; ski patrol; scuba diving; ocean, surf, river, and lake rescue; horse patrol; off-road vehicle and motorcycle patrol; or canine team handler.
Incumbents are required to use protective equipment which includes various types of firearms, batons, chemical agents, and handcuffs, and are regularly trained and tested in physical defensive tactics and firearms use.
Entry into the State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) series is typically in the class of State Park Peace Officer Cadet (Ranger). Entry into the State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) class is typically at the Range A level. Possession of the criteria described in Alternate Range Criteria, Range B, in this specification permits entry at the State Park Peace Officer (Ranger), Range B, level.
This is the entry and training level class for this series. The incumbents, under close supervision, will learn the duties of the State Park Ranger by participating in basic law enforcement, public contact and visitor services, interpretation, and resource management training programs. Incumbents who do not successfully complete the Department's Basic Visitor Services Training Program will be ineligible for movement to the class of State Park Ranger.
This is the journey level in the series. Under supervision, incumbents perform duties in the visitor services function in a park district including law enforcement and public safety, interpretation, and resource protection/management; and may serve as leadpersons.
This is the first full supervisory level in the series. Under general supervision, incumbents in this class serve as chief rangers within a level 1 Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Unit or as supervising rangers in a district geographical sector in charge of a small-to-medium-size staff. Primary responsibilities include supervision of staff, safety and enforcement, patrol, interpretation, resource protection/management, and visitor facility operation.
The following is part of the minimum qualifications for all classes in the series.
Possession of a valid driver license of the appropriate class issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. (Applicants who do not possess this license will be admitted to the examination, but they must secure the license prior to appointment.) and Education: Successful completion of two years (60 semester units) of study from a State accredited college or university including a minimum of 21 semester units satisfying the General Education Curriculum standards as identified for colleges and universities accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Universities. Courses which meet this requirement include: natural/social sciences, language, humanities, and mathematics. (Students in their second year of college may apply, but they must satisfactorily complete their second year of college before they can be appointed.)
Graduation from a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) basic course academy. and Possession of (1) a valid Red Cross Advanced First-Aid Certificate or First Responder Certificate (EMSA approved) and (2) either a valid Red Cross or American Heart Associated Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certificate. (An approved Department of Health Emergency Medical Technician Certificate may be substituted for both of the required certificates.)
Possession of a POST regular basic certificate.
Successful completion (within the last three years) of the Department of Parks and Recreation's basic visitor services, resource management, interpretation, and park operations training program as a State Park Peace Officer Cadet (Ranger).
Two years of experience in the California state service performing the duties of a State Park Peace Officer (Ranger), Range B, or State Park Peace Officer (Lifeguard), Range B.
Experience: Three years of experience in the management, administration, or visitor service of a park, public recreational, or historical area. (Experience in the California state service applied toward this requirement must include two years in a class equivalent in level of responsibility to a State Park Peace Officer (Ranger), Range B.) and
Education: Equivalent to graduation from college. (Additional qualifying experience may be substituted for up to two years of the required education on a year-for-year basis.)
Knowledge of: Basic principles of dealing with the public; basic mathematics as required in accounting for funds; basic grammar and spelling as required in preparing reports and records; general resource management and protection; and principal recreational areas of the State of California.
Ability to: Follow written and oral instructions; learn the principles and practices used in the conservation and interpretation of natural resources and historic areas; learn to use tools and equipment used on the job; work safely; learn to deal tactfully with individuals and groups; apply theory to practical situations; interpret and apply rules and instructions; communicate effectively; analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action; perform duties which require physical strength and agility; and learn law enforcement rules, regulations, and procedures as a State park peace officer, including arrests and the use of firearms.
Knowledge of: All of the above, and principles and practices involved in operating, interpreting, and protecting State park districts; purposes, organization, policies, procedures, and rules of the Department of Parks and Recreation; methods and materials used in preparing and interpreting historical and natural science displays and exhibits; techniques and procedures used in law enforcement; methods of conducting search and rescue; advanced emergency first-aid procedures; first aid and rescue equipment use and maintenance; and principles of forest fire, disease, and insect damage control.
Ability to: All of the above, and plan, organize, and direct the work of others; carry out programs in accordance with plans and specifications; establish and maintain cooperative relations with public groups and organizations; and lead and train seasonal staff.
Knowledge of: All of the above, and basic principles of supervision, personnel management, and business and public administration; State administrative procedures; the Department's Equal Employment Opportunity objectives; and a manager's/supervisor's responsibility for promoting equal opportunity in hiring and employee development and promotion, and for maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.
Ability to: Supervise or assist with the visitor services operation of State park districts; organize, coordinate, and plan programs for operations, interpretations, safety and enforcement, and resource management and protection in park districts; analyze situations and take effective action; establish and maintain cooperative relations with the public and with representatives in other jurisdictions; coordinate mutual aid operations with other agencies; plan and implement in-service training and employee development programs and evaluate the performance of personnel; communicate effectively; work with community organizations and public officials; assist with the development of effective operating programs to protect visitors and the resources of the State park system; and effectively promote equal opportunity in employment and maintain a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.
Minimum age for appointment to peace officer class: 18 years.
Aptitude and demonstrated interest in park and recreation work, philosophy, and principles; willingness to wear the prescribed uniform and conform to departmental personal appearance standards; willingness to work at various locations throughout the State; willingness to work on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays and at odd or irregular hours; willingness to perform law enforcement duties; satisfactory record as a law-abiding citizen; aptitude for interpretive and public relations work; emotional maturity; dependability; punctuality; tact and diplomacy; poise and self-confidence; sensitivity to needs and attitudes of others; neatness; and courtesy.
Physical strength, endurance, and agility; mentally alert; physically sound; hearing sufficient to perform the essential functions of the job; demonstrate sufficient swimming ability for self-preservation and to direct aquatic and lifesaving operations.
A best-corrected visual acuity of 20/20 or better in each eye. An uncorrected visual acuity of 20/40 or better in each eye. A peripheral visual field of at least 120 degrees horizontally and 100 degrees vertically in each eye. Normal color vision, as determined by Ishihara or other color plate tests.
Applicants for positions in this class are required to pass a drug screening test. Testing of current employees who are applicants in an examination or who are transferring is permitted only if the person does not have a current appointment to a class for which drug testing is a requirement.
Existing law provides that persons convicted of a felony are disqualified from employment as peace officers. Such persons are not eligible to compete for, or be appointed to, positions in this class.
Existing law requires that a thorough background investigation be completed on or prior to appointment date. Persons unsuccessful in the investigation cannot be appointed as a peace officer.
Existing law provides that physical and psychological suitability examinations be completed on or prior to appointment date. Persons who are not successful in these examinations cannot be appointed as a peace officer.
Existing law provides that a reading and writing ability examination consisting of an entry-level test battery or equivalent as determined by POST must be completed on or prior to appointment. Persons who are not successful in this examination cannot be appointed as a peace officer.
Existing law provides that a candidate for a peace officer position be fingerprinted for search of local, State, and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record.
Existing law provides that persons in the classes in the State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) series be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for U.S. citizenship.
Bachelor of Arts/Science Degree with specialization in Park Administration, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Law Enforcement, Business, or closely related subjects.
Possession of a valid instructor certificate for: Advanced First Aid, First Responder (EMSA), Basic First Aid, and/or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) from American Red Cross or American Heart Association.
Completion and certification as an Emergency Medical Technician Level I or
Paid or volunteer experience in law enforcement, or in the operation, protection, and interpretation of a park, forest, public recreational, or historical area.
This criteria will be used to allocate incumbents to alternate Range A or Range
Range A. This range shall apply to persons who do not meet the criteria for payment in Range B.
Range B. This range shall apply to persons who have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of 12 months of Range A experience.