Established in 1957, Lorain County Metro Parks Ranger Department is the law enforcement branch of the Lorain County Metro Parks. The Ranger Department is responsible for law enforcement of park areas both developed and undeveloped, waterways and facilities. Law enforcement remains necessary so that everyone who utilizes the Park District can enjoy him or herself. Rangers help protect people from people, people from the natural resource and the natural resource from the people. Please observe the rules and regulations so that others can enjoy their visit in safety.
Lorain County Metro Parks Rangers possess Ohio Basic Peace Officer Certification. The rangers get their authority from the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) section 1545.13, which states “The employees that the Board of Park Commissioners designates for that purpose may exercise all the powers of police officers within and adjacent to the lands under the jurisdiction and control of the board…” They differ from other law enforcement agencies in that their work centers on parks, their facilities and their users, compared to a city or village police officer, but they enforce the Ohio Revised Code. They also enforce a separate set of laws known as park rules. These laws are specifically related to parks. The ORC states “The Board of Park Commissioners shall adopt such bylaws and rules as the Board deems advisable for the preservation of good order within and adjacent to parks and reservations of land…” The rangers are also responsible for some maintenance aspects of park management such as operating equipment and maintaining the various facilities.
All Lorain County Metro Parks Rangers have completed the Ohio Peace Office Training Academy (OPOTA) basic course. The course includes 740 hours of training, which covers topics such as Ohio Revised code, Patrol Tactics, and Crime Scene Management. This is the same training that city police officers and sheriff deputies receive. Rangers qualify twice annually with firearms and are also certified in Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), an aerosol inflammatory agent, and the ASP, an intermediate impact weapon. They are recertified annually on firearms, OC, the ASP, and CPR. Rangers attend various trainings sponsored by the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Ohio Park and Recreation Association and other organizations. Most of our park rangers have a degree in Natural Resources allowing them to better serve the park visitors varied needs.