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Non-Law Enforcement

Law Encorcement

3) Do Park Rangers, Park Wardens and Forest Rangers use the Thin Green Line?

Official: YES(1)                 

Supporters: YES(2)

National Recognition: YES(3)

A park ranger, park warden, or forest ranger is a person entrusted with protecting and preserving parklands – national, state, provincial, or local parks. "Parks" may be broadly defined by some systems in this context, and include protected culturally or historically important built environments, and is not limited to the natural environment. Different countries use different names for the position. Warden is the favored term in CanadaIreland, and the United Kingdom. Within the United States, the National Park Service refers to the position as a park ranger. The U.S. Forest Service refers to the position as a forest ranger. Other countries use the term park warden or game warden to describe this occupation. The profession includes a number of disciplines and specializations, and park rangers are often required to be proficient in more than one.

Law enforcement: Law enforcement rangers have police powers and enforce national laws as well as park regulations. In some developing countries, the park rangers patrolling natural preserves may be heavily armed and function as paramilitary organizations against organized poachers or even guerrillas. In many other developing countries, however, park rangers have law enforcement authority and do carry firearms as they seek to achieve respect for nature by building good relationships with local communities and the visiting public. In units of the U.S. National Park System, law enforcement Rangers are the primary police agency; their services may be augmented by the US Park Police, particularly in the Washington, DC, and San Francisco metropolitan areas. The U.S. National Park Service also has a section of "Special Agents" who conduct more complex criminal investigations. According to the U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers suffer the highest number of felonious assaults and the highest number of homicides of all federal law enforcement officers.[11] The City of New York has a uniformed division of Park Rangers called the New York City Parks Enforcement Patrol who is responsible for patrolling the city parks, pools, and beaches.


(1Non-Law Enforcement Park Rangers, Park Wardens, and Forest Rangers symbolize the Thin Green Line. Those with Law Enforcement Authority symbolize The Thin Blue Line. 

(2Supporters sometimes use the Thin Green Line to show support for the men and women that keep the environment safe.

(3) Those with Law Enforcement Authority are recognized within the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund and are identified using the Thin Blue Line

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