For Immediate Release: 5/5/2022

California State Parks Graduates 35 Peace Officers at Law Enforcement Academy Graduation Ceremony

Adeline Yee
Information Officer
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PARADISE, Calif. — California State Parks last Friday graduated 35 cadets to serve as rangers and lifeguards in the nation’s largest state park system. As peace officers, they will serve, protect and educate visitors to California’s 279 state parks, while protecting the state’s most significant natural and cultural resources.

“The impacts of recent catastrophic fires, drought, and COVID-19 – tell us that we must reimagine how we manage these public lands,” stated California State Parks Director Armando Quintero to cadets at Friday’s graduation. “We must stay diligent and adapt, apply the best science and management practices, and evolve our methods to help preserve these natural and cultural resources for future generations to enjoy.”

Before an audience of both in-person and virtual, members of Basic Visitor Services Training (BVST) 47 received their badges to officially become State Park Peace Officers to serve State Parks and the State of California. This year’s class of 35 cadets were chosen from a field of 880 applicants.

BVST 47 began their academy on Oct. 1, 2021, and for seven months, the cadets received training in strategic communication, making physical arrests, conducting investigations, performing search and rescue activities, defensive tactics, de-escalation, and firearms use. Cadets were also trained in visitor assistance, public education and interpretation, park resource protection and management, and first aid. Academy instruction prepares the students mentally, morally, emotionally and physically to enter and successfully complete the Field Training Officer Program, which is comprised of 13 more weeks of on-the-job training.

Graduates of this class will be stationed throughout the state, such as in the North Coast Redwoods, Central Valley, San Diego and Inland Empire districts.

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Want to “Live the Parks Life”?

The 2023 State Park Peace Officer Cadet Academy continues to operate, in person, under new COVID-19 safety guidelines. This year State Parks is pleased to announce that lateral transfers will be accepted. POST Academy graduates can apply to join the agency, a change from previous years. If candidates have two years of college credit, State Parks is accepting both POST Academy graduates to lateral in at Range A and POST Basic certificated candidates can lateral in at Range B. After passing background, psychological and medical checks, candidates may go straight into Field Training Program (FTP). Minimum age to be a peace officer is 21 years old. All interested applicants must mail an official state application by May 13, 2022. 

For more information on the academy and other careers available with State Parks such as jobs in cultural and natural resources, facilities management, administration and many others, please visit and contact the Workforce Planning and Recruitment Office at

California State Parks graduated 35 cadets to be the newest State Park Peace Officers (Rangers and Lifeguards) on April 29, 2022 in Paradise, CA. Photos from California State Parks.
California State Parks graduated 35 cadets to be the newest State Park Peace Officers (Rangers and Lifeguards) on April 29, 2022 in Paradise, CA. Photos from California State Parks.

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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.