RALEIGH — A new ranger was sworn in recently for Lumber River State Park.
David Brooks Nobles is one of five new state park rangers who recently received commissions as law enforcement officers during separate ceremonies across the state, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
Receiving a commission as a special peace officer at the end of 17-week basic law enforcement training is generally regarded as the last formal step before a ranger takes on full duties in a unit of the state parks system. During the training period before commissioning, a ranger is assimilated into the park and begins assuming duties in resource management and visitor services.
“It requires a lot of dedication and training for our candidates to earn the right to wear the campaign-style hat of a state park ranger,” said Mike Murphy, state parks director. “These men and women are true multi-specialists who are frequently asked to assume many roles during a day at work, from finding a lost hiker to giving an interpretive program to dealing with violations of state law.”
State park rangers are required to have at least a two-year degree, and many come to the job with four-year university degrees in curricula related to natural resource and/or park management. Beyond law enforcement training, all are trained in medical first response, search-and-rescue, wildfire suppression, natural resource management, interpretive skills and environmental education.
Also receiving commissions were Brian Albert Swanson, at Hammocks Beach State Park; Emmet Avory Smith, at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area; Chase Cameron Bennett, at Pettigrew State Park; and Joseph Harrison Hiatt, at Dismal Swamp State Park.
North Carolina State Parks manages more than 231,000 acres within North Carolina’s state parks, recreation areas and natural areas.