For Immediate Release: 7/21/2020

California State Parks Presents its Newest Peace Officers at Virtual Law Enforcement Academy Graduation Ceremony

California State Parks graduated 41 cadets July 18 to “Live the Parks Life” as rangers and lifeguards in the nation’s largest state park system. As State Park 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.

This year’s class of 41 cadets were chosen from a field of approximately 800 applicants. Over the weekend, before a virtual audience of family members, friends and department staff, they received their badges at Butte College and officially became State Park Peace Officers.“Taking this oath to serve as State Park Peace Officers and making this career path to the public are honorable,” said California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat. “Congratulations to them and to their families who have supported the cadets through this academy and will continue to be there to support them through this amazing career they are embarking on.”

Graduates from this year’s academy, a total of 33 rangers and eight lifeguards, will be stationed throughout the state in the following park districts:

Angeles – 5 Monterey – 2
Bay Area  – 1 North Coast Redwoods – 1
Central Valley – 5 Northern Buttes – 2
Channel Coast  – 1 Oceano Dunes – 4
Diablo Range – 1 Orange Coast – 3
Gold Fields – 3 Santa Cruz – 4
Great Basin – 2 Sonoma-Mendocino Coast – 2

Inland Empire – 5


For nine months and during the worldwide pandemic, the cadets participated in the Basic Visitor Services Training Academy. Cadet training included lessons in interpersonal communication, making physical arrests, conducting investigations, 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 cadets 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.

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.

For more information on the academy and minimum requirements, including frequently asked questions and a general timeline of the recruitment cycle, please visit and click on “Explore Parks Careers,” then “Public Safety and Resource Protection.” 

Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at

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.