"By land, by sea, and by air we provide around-the-clock services through a variety of specialized assignments. Our department includes patrol teams, the Air Support Unit, Marine Patrol, Equestrian Patrols, K-9 Unit, Special Enforcement Unit, Investigations Unit, and a 24-hour per day 9-1-1 Communications Center."
Rather impressive I think...and also somewhat sad. After all, what does it say about our society that our park spaces require such extensive law enforcement?
When you visit the District's website you learn that its police force is made up of 65-sworn officers costing more than $13-million per year. You'll also find images and video of the department's operations and equipment, including a SWAT team and a "Ballistic Armored Tactical Transport" (BATT) truck. The armored vehicle is similar to the one used by Hayward and that recently ordered by the City of San Leandro.
I can't help but wonder; don't our cities, counties, state and federal law enforcement agencies have enough warrior cops and militaristic hardware that we have to further fund a dedicated SWAT team and an armored truck for our parks as well?
|Images from East Bay Regional Park District Police Department webpage and recruitment video.|