Columbus Metro Parks Considering Arming Rangers
Updated: Wednesday, March 13 2013, 04:29 PM EDT
COLUMBUS -- A new gun debate has heated up in Central Ohio... Should Metro Park rangers carry weapons?
Park officials are looking into whether the possibility of arming their rangers would be a danger.
Park rangers, however, say the parks are stalling, and the safety threats they face are increasing.
State of Ohio law allows private citizens to carry guns in a Metro Park whether openly or concealed with proper license. Some Rangers say this basis alone is reason enough for Rangers to also carry weapons.
The Board of Park Commissioners met on Tuesday to consider the proposal to hire armed rangers or source the duty to nearby law enforcement agencies.
John O'Meara, Columbus Metro Parks Executive Director, said their main focus is public safety. "Fortunately, we have had a fabulous record. [The parks] are among the safest places anywhere around. We want to continue that and we want to keep it safe for the public and for our employees."
A consultant has been brought in to conduct the study and cost analysis for the Metro Parks. A recommendation to hire is expected by the May 14, 2013 board meeting.
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