Urban Rangers in Prospect Park began an enforcement training course last week, according to the Brooklyn Paper. The training comes after ranger Andrew Marsala busted a man allegedly masturbating in the park last month, who was then found to be carrying marijuana and a loaded 9-mm handgun with 15 rounds of ammunition.
Marsala was – rangers mostly lead educational tours – by his superiors, who said that he should have called police instead.
The Brooklyn Paper reported on Friday that rangers have now been undergoing a training course to spot suspicious behavior, what to do if someone in the park is carrying a weapon, and when it is necessary to make an arrest. A Walk in the Park also reports that the rangers are getting a refresher course in wielding a baton, mace, handcuffs “and other enforcement procedures.”
The blog, authored by Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Parks Advocates, also reports that rangers have been requesting this type of training, though management has not offered it for at least three years, according to sources.
According to the Paper, NYC Parks Department spokeswoman Vickie Karp would not say whether or not the new beef-up training is a result of the Marsala incident.