Despite discussions for the 2013 budget being a few months away, Florissant Police Chief William Karabas and Parks and Recreation Director Ron Veach gave the Florissant City Council to consider for the next fiscal year already.
Monday night, during the council’s executive session, Karabas and Veach proposed a trial program that would place two part-time Florissant police officers in the parks.
“This is not to replace park rangers,” Mayor Tom Schneider said. “This would be part-time police officers who patrol the parks.”
Chief Karabas explained that with the constant growing vandalism in the park, such as the burning down of a jungle gym in one park and the shooting of solar panels in another park, has brought the part-time officers idea to the forefront.
“We’re more concerned with the safety of residents and visitors who use our parks,” he said.
Karabas said that the two part-time officers would be either retired or working other jobs but still have police officer certification. They would assist park rangers with patrolling the parks and both recreation centers.
Parks and Recreation Director Veach pointed out that a number of people don’t respect the rangers, and part-time police officers would have more authority by being able to arrest and respond to problems.
Chief Karabas said that the positions would be included in the department’s proposed 2013 budget.
Mayor Schneider said that if the trial proves successful, he would hope to possibly expand in the future to include more officers.