For Immediate Release: 5/21/2021

California State Parks Presents Its Largest-ever Class of Peace Officers

Contact: Newsroom@parks.ca.gov

Link to video

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California State Parks graduated 44 cadets on May 19 to “Live the Parks Life” as State Park Peace Officers (rangers and lifeguards) in the nation’s largest state park system. The 44 cadets make up the largest class of graduates in State Parks’ history.

Before an in-person and virtual audience of family members, friends and department staff at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area’s North Forebay, the cadets were officially sworn in as State Park Peace Officers to serve State Parks and the State of California as rangers and lifeguards.

“These new rangers and lifeguards are beginning their careers at a very critical moment in State Parks’ history,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “They arrive at a time of incredible and important transition for California’s State Park System as the department engages in the work of wildfire resiliency, climate change adaptation and expanding outdoor access for all Californians.”

Rangers and lifeguards protect and educate visitors to California’s 280 state parks, while protecting the state’s most significant natural and cultural resources. This year’s graduating class was chosen from a field of approximately 800 applicants. For nearly eight months, the cadets participated in the Basic Visitor Services Training Academy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and amid the 2020 wildfires.

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

Graduates of class chart

Map illustrating number of State Park Peace Officers heading to various districts across California.
Map illustrating number of State Park Peace Officers heading to various districts across California.

Cadet training included lessons in interpersonal 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’s Program, which is comprised of 13 more weeks of on-the-job training.

Want to “Live the Parks Life”?
State Parks is currently accepting applications for the 2022 State Park Peace Officer Cadet Academy. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, June 15, 2021. For more information on the academy and minimum requirements, including frequently asked questions and a general timeline of the recruitment cycle, please visit LiveTheParksLife.com and click on the “State Park Peace Officer Cadet Selection Process” link in the “Featured Opportunities” section.

Basic Visitor Services Training (BVST) 45 Cadet Academy graduation at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area on May 19, 2021. Pictured individuals have all been vaccinated for COVID-19.  Photos from California State Parks.
Basic Visitor Services Training (BVST) 45 Cadet Academy graduation at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area on May 19, 2021.
Pictured individuals have all been vaccinated for COVID-19. 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.