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California State Parks Graduates 28 Peace Officers from  Law Enforcement Academy in Paradise

June 13, 2019

Newest Class to “Live the Parks Life” Across California

California State Parks today announced the addition of 28 new peace officers that will “Live the Parks Life” as rangers and lifeguards in the nation’s largest state park system. Yesterday, family members, friends and department staff applauded the class of cadets as they received their badges. As peace officers, they will serve, protect and educate visitors to California’s 280 state parks, while protecting the state’s most significant natural and cultural resources.

During the ceremony, graduates were congratulated for their achievement and reminded of the important role they will serve as ambassadors to California’s amazing park units. They were also commended for enduring the devastating Camp Fire. Cadets had to evacuate their classroom at Butte Community College, which was used as a command center for the fire incident. Four cadets and a training officer lost their homes. Through the chaos, loss and struggle, this academy class maintained its motto, “Forged by fire, California strong!”

This year’s class of 28 cadets were chosen from a field of approximately 800 applicants. For eight months, cadets participated in Basic Visitor Services Training. Their training included lessons in making physical arrests, conducting investigations, performing search and rescue activities, defensive tactics and firearms use. Cadets were also trained in visitor assistance, public education and interpretation, and park resource protection and management. Academy instruction prepares the students mentally, morally, emotionally and physically to enter and successfully complete the Field Training Officer’s Program, which is composed of 13 more weeks of on-the-job training.

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BVST42 Graduation Highlights

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BVST42 Full Graduation Video

Video and Images courtesy of California State Parks


The following is a list of the graduates and the state park unit or sector each will join:

Ranger Cadets

Bakke - Inland Empire District, Chino Sector
Barry - North Coast Redwoods District, Redwood Coast Sector
Baxter-  Diablo Range District Contra-Solano Sector
Bliese - Ocotillo Wells District Herber/Picacho Sector
Burden - Inland Empire District Silverwood Sector
Damron - San Diego Coast District, North Sector
Duft -  Oceano Dunes District, Oceano Dunes SVRA
Gunvaldson - North Coast Redwoods District, Eel River Sector
Hausner - Monterey District, Asilomar Sector
Heitzmann - Bay Area District, Sonoma Sector (Trione-Anadel)
Johnson IV - Oceano Dunes District, Oceano Dunes SVRA
Kuhnhofer - Channel Coast District, Ventura Sector
Lubben - Tehachapi District, Tejon Sector
Mauk - Monterey District, Big Sur Sector
Meier - Oceano Dunes District, Oceano Dunes SVRA
Pompa - Central Valley District, San Joaquin Sector
Schneider - San Luis Obispo Coast District, Costal Sector
Weseloh - Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District, Mendocino Sector
Wheeler - Inland Empire District, Chino Sector
Williams - Santa Cruz District, Pajaro Sector

Lifeguard Cadets

Beardlsey - Orange Coast District, North Coast Sector
Hamilton - Central Valley District, San Joaquin Sector
Helble - Gold Fields District, Folsom Sector
Petersen - Monterey District, Monterey Sector
Pior - Central Valley District, Four Rivers Sector
Sanchez - San Diego Coast District, Aquatics
Valdez - Orange Coast District, North Coast Sector
Wilson - Angeles District, Malibu Sector

For more than 150 years, rangers and lifeguards have worked closely with the state's network of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to protect visitors to California's parks. Rangers and lifeguards also protect the natural, cultural and historic resources for future generations. Whether patrolling in desert landscapes, lakes, among wildlife and wildflowers, museums or in historic landmarks, it is truly a unique experience to work for California State Parks.

With more than 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites and 4,500 miles of trails, 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, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, on- and off-road cycling, hiking, camping and rock climbing are some of the recreational activities enjoyed in 280 state parks.


*** NOTE: This collection of California State Parks images and videos are released for distribution to and use by news agencies (for editorial use), incorporation into travel magazines, tourism publications, etc. where the use is expressly for the promotion of visitation to park units in the State Park System.

The required credit is: Courtesy of California State Parks, [YEAR PROVIDED].

These images and videos MAY NOT BE REDISTRIBUTED for commercial use, such as in commercial books, textbooks, posters, documentary films, etc. without the requestor first securing the appropriate permissions from the Department. Department created intellectual property requires the prior written permission of the Department and preparation of a Department Licensing Agreement (See the DOM 0900 section on Intellectual Property).