Guns in green spaces?

City commission recommends two of three park rangers train to pack heat

After hours of discussion that included more than a dozen members of the public voicing opposition to a proposal to convert the city’s existing park rangers into so-called sworn rangers, the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission voted 4-3 in favor of a hybrid option that leaves one traditional ranger position intact.

Under that plan, two of the three rangers would go through police academy training and be managed by the Chico Police Department. They would carry firearms and be responsible for enforcement in the city’s green spaces. The third position would remain under the supervision of the city’s Public Works Department and continue typical ranger duties, including education and interpretation.

The commission’s vote is not definitive, but rather a recommendation to the City Council, which is expected to take up the issue before the end of the summer.