Park rangers coming to KCMO parks and trails to keep visitors safe

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City's more than 100 parks are about to get safer thanks to a new park ranger program.

"Just a couple of weeks ago we posted the job, and there's going to be five jobs available initially," park ranger supervisor Jeffery Hurley said.

Hurley said he was hired back in July after the Public Safety Committee decided they wanted to start the program.

"Part of that was to try to get a city ordinance written and approved that would give park rangers authority and scope, and the ability to provide security and safety in the parks, and that has been accomplished as well," Hurley said.

He said they're looking to hire five rangers who will be licensed to carry guns.

"I would like to see people that have the minimum police academy standards in the state of Missouri or military police training, or I would even consider people who have 10 years of armed security experience," Hurley said.

The rangers will mostly focus on the larger parks, like Loose and Swope, but they will oversee all of the parks. Hurley said they'll also patrol the bike and running trails in the city.

"I think we need a group of people that's dedicated to the safety and security in the parks where that's their only focus," Hurley said. "The police do a great job with public safety, but a lot of times they can put the focus on the parks that the parks department would like to have, and that's where we're going to come in."

If you are interested in becoming a park ranger, you can apply online through the city's website. Hurley is hoping to have the first ranger in the parks in the next four to six weeks.

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