U.S. Park Police Running On Low
If you've ever spent any time in Washington, D.C., and decided to stroll around the National Mall, take in the memorials to the various wars, visit the Lincoln Memorial, try to visit the Washington Memorial and all the other attractions, you know the place can be overrun with humanity.
Unfortunately, not all of that humanity is peaceful and respecting of others. Some elements are looking for targets for robbery or worse.
And so, the U.S. Park Police, which falls under the National Park Service, is responding by...fielding the smallest force in nearly two decades, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
As of this past February, according to the group, the number of sworn officers within the Park Police had dropped to 587, compared to 601 last summer and 625 at the end of 2005.
"The current state of affairs is a lose-lose situation: In order to protect tourists flocking to visit the sights of our nation's capital this spring and summer, the Park Police must strip needed officers off our parkways and metro parks, and vice versa," says Jeff Ruch, PEER's executive director. "The U.S. Park Police desperately needs leadership willing to be honest with both the public and its own employees."