LA City Council considers motion to arm park rangers

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles city park rangers say there's been a dramatic increase in crime and they need to protect themselves and guests. The L.A. City Council is now considering a motion to arm them.

The union representing park rangers is once again urging the L.A. City Council to consider changing the current code to allow park rangers to be armed.

Councilman John Lee supports it. Lee is the new chair of the Recreation and Parks Committee, where the motion is still pending.

"Los Angeles park rangers receive the same level of police academy training as LAPD, but do not have the same protective tools as other park ranger agencies throughout the United States that patrol large, citywide and rural park areas similar to the City," Lee said in a statement. "Our park rangers all have four-year college degrees."

L.A. park rangers say encounters with armed suspects puts them in a possibly deadly disadvantage.

There have been 38 homicides over the past four years in L.A. city parks. Over the same period, there have been 267 rapes, 1,844 assaults with a deadly weapon and 1,050 robberies. The crimes committed underscore the danger L.A. city park rangers face.

"These are our park rangers. All we are asking is to allow them to defend and protect themselves and the patrons of our parks," said Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who also supports the motion.
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