Elkhart park rangers to begin issuing citations for violations

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The City of Elkhart Parks and Recreation Department’s newly-hired park rangers will soon have additional tools at their disposal to provide added safety and security.

Beginning Thursday, June 1, park rangers Stan McCray and Michael Bennett will begin issuing citations for park ordinance violations.

Examples of park ordinance violations include injury to property or equipment, littering, failure to maintain a dog on a leash, and the possession of drugs or alcohol on park property. The rangers do not have powers of arrest, but will have ready access to the Elkhart Police Department if needed.

“Parks provide a gathering place for people from all walks of life and are an amenity that can be used by anyone,” said Mayor Tim Neese. “We want to be certain that when individuals and families visit our parks, they have a safe and enjoyable experience.”

In addition to enforcing park ordinances, other duties of the park rangers include trash pickup, inspection of playground equipment, calling in repairs for damaged property or lighting as well as providing the public with maps and other information regarding the programs and facilities offered by the Parks Department.

The rangers will have jurisdiction in all 34 of the city’s parks and will be on duty seven days a week from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. For purposes of patrol, the parks are divided into three zones, ensuring every park is visited by a ranger every three days.

To learn more or to report a park ordinance violation, please contact the Elkhart Parks and Recreation Department at 295-7275.

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