MWCD Parks to Host Ranger Day!

July 17, 2020

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) will host “Ranger Day” at Tappan Lake Park on Saturday, July 18 and at Atwood, Charles Mill, and Seneca Lake Parks on Saturday, July 25. All the events will take place from 10am – 1pm.  Pleasant Hill Rangers will attend the event held at Charles Mill Park due to the proximity of park locations. Participants will be able to meet and talk to MWCD Park Rangers, along with Law Enforcement officers from nearby agencies including K9 officers. The event includes demonstrations, giveaways including finger print kits, photo ops, and an obstacle course.

“This event is designed to provide kids and adults an opportunity to meet the rangers, and local law enforcement in a fun way in a friendly environment.” Said Craig Butler, Executive Director for the MWCD.  “The MWCD has always practiced community policing, which is a strategy of policing that focuses on building ties and working closely with members of the community. Events such as this one reinforces that connection. Local agencies frequently work together to solve cases, respond to 911 calls, and protect the citizens in the area. Guests will have an opportunity to see and talk to officers from a variety of agencies in one location to check out the equipment they use, ask questions, and interact with officers in a positive way”. 

Anyone who shows the Ranger Day post on the park Facebook page will receive entrance into the park for $5 per vehicle from 10am-1pm. Once inside the park, guests can enjoy the swimming beach, hiking trails, and picnic areas. Due to COVID-19, guests are asked to follow social distance guidelines and stay home if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19. Face coverings are recommended, and hand sanitizer will be available.

The parks, marinas and cottage areas draw millions of people to the district.  The Rangers have all the powers of police officers on MWCD property and adjacent property and are required to be a certified police officer within the State of Ohio.  The Rangers are required to meet all the required training determined by the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy. 

“All of the Rangers we hire go through an extensive hiring process which includes personal interviews, background checks and Pradco evaluations which is an independent and nationally recognized organization that has developed a screening process for Law enforcement officers” said John Maxey, Deputy Chief of Law Enforcement for MWCD. “The Rangers have fully equipped patrol cars, boats and support equipment to enforce all the state laws, regulations and park rules throughout the district.  The Rangers use a state-of-the-art radio system to communicate within the parks and other Law enforcement agencies and rescue personnel within the area. Our Rangers strive to serve the public and promote a safe and secure environment for everyone that utilizes our parks or property.”

MWCD Rangers are continually training with a focus on self-defense, arrest and control, traffic stops and approaches, active shooter, diversity and de-escalation techniques.   Rangers are required to qualify with their service weapons annually and receive additional weapons training that include scenario-based training that require the Rangers to make split second decisions.  They receive legal aspects training on an annual basis from our legal department and prosecutors from various counties.  They are also required wear body cameras for all Law Enforcement contacts and these videos are reviewed on a regular basis by supervisors for quality, professionalism and to ensure they are following our Bias Policing policy. 

The District established a Training review board which meets throughout the year.  The board reviews all use of force cases, various reports and body cam videos to identify training needs.   The training needs and recommendations are shared with the Chief Ranger. 

Rangers are guided by professional Law Enforcement Policies that are written by Lexipol that have established Nationally recognized Best Practices for Law enforcement.  The Rangers always strive to provide professional law enforcement services to the people using our lakes, parks and cottage areas.  We ensure all our Rangers practice fair and reasonable enforcement with and emphasis placed on safety related violations.

“The Rangers have always been involved with community policing and have developed positive relationships with our campers, cottage Lessee’s and tourists that visit our Parks. We frequently have educational events that include Ohio Boaters Education Courses, Law Enforcement Safety Days and various activities supporting local organizations throughout the district” said Maxey.   For dates, times and more information on these events visit

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