By Mike Kruzman /

Visitors to any of Hamburg Township’s parks and recreation areas may soon see new park rangers helping to maintain a safe environment.

Public Safety Director and Chief of Police Richard Duffany was before the Hamburg Township Board of Trustees last week asking for 2 new park ranger positions to be created. Duffany said that while they do have officers that patrol their large park space and many township events it would be a benefit to have dedicated rangers on duty. This would give the township a broader presence not only around the parks but also on the Lakelands Trail.

The Chief said that rangers would be a visible presence meant to enhance the experience of park visitors and ensure a safer environment, but also not to give visitors a hard time while doing so. Duffany said the rangers won’t be out there to harass visitors, nor to write tickets. Rangers will observe and be good witnesses to police, contacting them if necessary, and reporting if they do see violations. If they witness a minor violation, such as visitors not having their dog on a leash, their job will be to educate and “leave it at that.”

Duffany is looking to start the park ranger program with 2 people working up to 30 hours each. While working through compensation, the Public Safety Committee initially thought rangers would start at grade 1- step 1, but Duffany felt with the certifications they need, grade 2 – step 1 is more appropriate. Rangers will need four certifications including police radio and CPR. The approved compensation was said to be $16.94 per hour. The positions will be funded 50% through the General Fund and 25% each from the police and fire millages.

The Board of Trustees approved multiple resolutions around the creation of the position by 6-0 votes.