Violators of the Park Safe Program will be subject to the following four-step process:
Step 1. When a violation is observed, the resident will be served with a Notice of Violation Warning, which he/she must sign. If the resident has no identification, a photograph will be taken and attached to the Notice of Violation Warning. The warning is in writing, lists the offense(s) and educates the resident by providing a copy of the rules and regulations that govern the facilities. The Notice also warns that any further violations could result in being banned from the County’s parks and facilities. The issuance of the Notice will be recorded into the Police Records Management System (RMS) with a corresponding entry in a Banning Logbook.
Step 2. When a repeat offender is observed to be in violation of the same of different regulation, a Notice Forbidding Trespassing indicating a ban from County parks and facilities for a period of 12 months will be issued. The resident will sign the document or the serving officer will indicate his/her refusal. At this stage the resident is identified and photographed for future reference. If the violator has no documents to prove his/her identity, in addition to the photograph, the resident will be asked to provide a thumbprint on the Notice Forbidding Trespassing.
This Notice Forbidding Trespassing informs the resident that they will be subject to arrest if found trespassing on DPR facilities. The Notice Forbidding Trespassing provides the individual with information on the appeal process and informs the resident of the effective date of the banning (16 days from issuance if no request for an appeal hearing is received). An entry will be made in the police RMS and the banning logbook indicating that the individual has been served with a Notice Forbidding Trespassing.
Step 3. Within 16 days of being served with a Notice Forbidding Trespassing, the resident has the right to an appeal hearing. The Assistant Director of DPR and/or the Chief of the Parks and Natural Resources Division are designated to hear appeals and issue a ruling. After the hearing, a ruling will be made in writing to the individual.
Should the ban be overturned, an entry will be made in the RMS, the banning logbook and a copy of the ruling will be filed with the Notice Forbidding Trespassing. The resident will be given another copy of the rules governing the use of parks and recreation facilities. If the offender does not request a hearing and/or fails to appear for a hearing that was requested, the notices automatically becomes effective after the sixteen-day appeal period has ended. Entries and copies will be filed accordingly.
Step 4. Once an individual has been officially banned from DPR facilities, he/she will be considered to be trespassing if found in such a facility within a twelve month period and be subject to arrest.
This program has proven to be successful for the Park Rangers who can now take action against the repeat offenders whose repugnant behavior interferes with the enjoyment of the parks by law abiding residents and for the police who previously had no authority to enforce park rules and regulations.