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New hires mean Cal Anderson rangers ready to go full-time

Two new park ranger positions created following public outcry earlier this year are nearly ready to begin patrols in Cal Anderson, increasing ranger presence in the park “50%” according to Seattle Parks Department officials.

Paid for with $150,000 from department “underspend,” the new ranger positions will add to the department’s pool of available rangers and will be focused on the Capitol Hill park and Pioneer Square’s Occidental Park. A Parks rep tells CHS rangers — who patrol in pairs and are not armed — will  be in Cal Anderson seven days a week from 7 AM to 10 PM following a day of training on Thursday. The Cal Anderson ranger role will “monitor and attempt to prevent potential property damage and safety hazards” and “be willing to work outside in a variety of weather conditions, stand, walk, or bend for an extended period of time” and “regularly use a bike or pickup truck,” CHS reported after the city put out a call for candidates.

“The rangers will patrol in pairs, and the new rangers will start out being paired with an experienced ranger,” a Parks rep tells CHS. “The rangers will actively engage with park visitors, and the ranger supervisor will be in touch daily with the SPD watch sergeant to ensure immediate and ongoing communication.”

The start of the increased presence comes following another serious assault in the park in which a convicted rapist has been arrested for a sexual assault of a homeless woman inside Cal Anderson.

In a CHS survey, readers said increased patrols and better homeless programs were the most important solutions to making Cal Anderson safer. Only 38% of respondents thought rangers would help.

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26 thoughts on “New hires mean Cal Anderson rangers ready to go full-time

  1. Ah yes. Crime and safety continues to be used to justify the marginalization of the poor. Can’t wait to see how this doesn’t prevent crime, but does chase out the homeless, the kids, and those who just want to relax and smoke a joint.

    I hope you rich pieces of shit enjoy your new park rangers.

    • I’m not rich by any stretch of the imagination but I can’t see how more park rangers is a bad thing. I know being anti-authoritarian is edgy and cool, but we’re out of high school now, you can drop the act. I agree that SPD has a lot to change about its approach, but these guys aren’t police, they’re parks department employees. They’re there to keep the place free of vandalism and to provide a person someone can go to in the event they feel threatened or have been assaulted. How is that a bad thing? Marginalize the poor by having two more park rangers? Get real.

    • Gee, you really are resentful of those who have more money than you do……time to grow up.

      No one is going to be “chased out” as long as they are not acting illegally.

    • what a dipshit comment. Travis you are truly an idiot. Most people on the hill are not rich, but an overwhelming majority (you and your ilk excluded) would like a safe, pleasant park to enjoy. After all, OUR taxes pay for it – why should we cede it to the riff-raff currently destroying it. Once again, just to reiterate, dipshit comment

    • Travis, don’t you have some windows to smash? You’re a putz. I’m sure you have a better solution to the crime in Cal Anderson. Care to share?

    • P.S. if by “rich” you mean making enough to afford a 440 square foot apt. and driving a 1997 Subaru, then you pegged me. I’m just living high on the hog! I love this neighborhood despite the fact that I have to deal with people like you sometimes.

  2. This is a step forward and should be helpful. But what about the hours of 10PM to 7AM, when a lot of the trouble occurs?

    • Technically the park isn’t open from sundown to sunup. Unless there is a scheduled event people technically shouldn’t be in the park after dark anyways.

      • Yes, because people follow the rules all the time. Wait… isn’t that why the rangers are being added in the first place.

      • Solution: Don’t be in the park after dark. If you are, not expect rangers to be there. Seems straight forward.

      • “Closed” means a different thing for a park than for, say, a business with a locking door. People can and do pass through it as a public thoroughfare. Police should be present in the closed park SPECIFICALLY to prevent things like rape and robbery happening to people using it in this way.

      • Actually, you’re wrong. Park closed hours mean closed. Period. That’s why the city issue endless park trespass admonishments all year long as the police are called to closed parks.

      • Actually, that’s not true. I have personally heard from people in SPD and Parks that passing through the park after hours is legal.

  3. It’s about time. There should be two patrol officers in there at all times in the day time and and night. Why this took so long in a so called intelligent, progressive city is beyond me. Sometimes Seattle is the dumbest city in the country.

  4. I have lived on the hill for 9 years and enjoy taking my dog to Cal Anderson to sit in the grass and relax. However, we were there over the weekend and it was scary. After about the 4th homeless/high man that came up to me to harass us, we finally had to leave. I did not feel safe. I am thankful to have the new Park Rangers.

  5. I am not rich and I still want the park to be safe. There was a stabbing recently and a rape during daylight hours. And for the person who just wants to go to the park and smoke a joint, it’s still illegal to smoke that stuff in public even though it’s not currently being enforced and I’m tired of disrespectful smokers taking away my right NOT to get high or breathe marijuana fumes in public (I am asthmatic and don’t do drugs.) Keep it to yourself! I hope the park rangers chase you away, too.

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