Saturday, December 10, 2011

Long Requested Ranger Enforcement Training Finally Arrives After Prospect Park Gun Incident

Parks Press Office Refues To Answer Why

Hero Ranger Andrew Marsala was reprimanded for arresting a gun-toting pervert in Prospect Park and remains on desk duty as punishment. For at least the last three years Urban Park Rangers management have not given rangers enforcement training according to numerous park sources. Rangers say they have been requesting it.

"They want us to look the other way and not get involved, " said a PEP officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity. They (management) want to pretend there is no crime in parks."

Local 983 vice president Joe Puleo which represents Rangers and PEP officers said refresher training in baton (PR -24), mace, handcuff and other enforcement procedures is essential in keeping both public and officers safe.

"These are things you must constanly do. Day-to-day you never know what they may encounter. They must have the proper training."

Puleo also noted that a major probelm is that the Parks Department does not adhere to continued police training for its peace officers which he says they are required to do and that managment do not have law enforcement backgrounds.

- Geoffrey Croft


City park rangers are getting stepped-up police training on the heels of an incident that led to a heroic park worker being reprimanded instead of lionized for busting a gun-toting pervert in Prospect Park, accordng to the Brooklyn Paper.

The law enforcement course teaches urban rangers when to “effect an arrest,” how to spot suspicious behavior and what to do if someone has a weapon.

The classes, which began last week, come after Parks Department honchos reprimanded ranger Andrew Marsala for nabbing a man whom he spotted masturbating in Prospect Park.

The man was pleasuring himself near a playground — and later turned out to have a gun — but Marsala’s bosses told him that it was not his job to act like a cop.

Rangers — who can legally make arrests, but are encouraged to focus on park education — say they have for years asked for such classes, in the event that a dangerous situation pops up.

“The city hasn’t provided rangers with up-to-date training,” said Joseph Puleo of Union Local 893, which represents the rangers, adding that Marsala simply trusted this gut and acted quickly. “The city should have done more — he did nothing wrong.”

In the November incident, a woman spotted 53-year-old Glen Perousa allegedly masturbating near the Third Street playground in broad daylight.

She reported the incident to Marsala, who confronted Perousa, who then bolted into the woods. That’s when the brave ranger chased him down, grabbed him and arrested him.

The creep was later discovered to be packing another kind of heat — a loaded handgun — cops said.

After the ordeal, a City Councilwoman recommended that Marsala be honored — but Marsala’s Parks Department bosses scolded him instead, saying it’s not his job to enforce the law.

He remains on desk duty.

But now the city has begun training rangers with those very cop-like enforcement skills — although Parks Department spokeswoman Vickie Karp refused to say why.

“They said, ‘Why didn’t you just call the police?’ ” Marsala told The Chief, a civil service newspaper. “I was like, ‘And let him get away?’ ”

The course includes techniques such as “contact and cover” — in which officers team up to collar a suspect — along with conflict-resolution skills and “refresher course” on arrests, according to the city’s training academy staff.

Marsala would say only that his bosses have now instructed him to stay mum, explaining, “I’m not allowed to talk to the press” — but park advocates had plenty to say about the training.

“We’re happy it’s finally being done,” said Geoffrey Croft NYC Parks Advocates, explaining it also makes things safer for park-goers. “We’re lucky to have these rangers are out there … This guy put his life on the line.”

Read More:

The Brooklyn Paper - December 9, 2011 - By Natalie O’Neill

A Walk In The Park - November 30, 2011 - By Geoffrey Croft


  1. The Mayor should Honor this Ranger, Bloomberg is a big advocate of taking guns off the street. The Parks Department is in denial that crime goes on in City Parks. The Rangers and Pep officers should be armed

  2. Again this Ranger has to understand that what he did was not in the best intrest of public safety. He did not search the perp well and placed himself, the public and NYPD in a very dangerous position. He should have detained the perp and let NYPD take over. As we all know Parks PEP training is not up to par with other local law enforcement agencies. This could have ended in tragedy. Please post.

  3. The course includes techniques such as “contact and cover” — in which officers team up to collar a suspect — along with conflict-resolution skills and “refresher course” on arrests, according to the city’s training academy staff.

    This is taught in the PEP Academy. The problem is it's discouraged from being used. And second many Ranger and PEP don't want to do their jobs. They don't feel like full blown law enforcement. 1-Because their bosses are not Law enforcement
    2-They don't have the proper tools and training.