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DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Celebrate Graduation of the 2024 Ranger Academy

EnCon Ranger Class to Support Visitor Experience in State Parks

(HARTFORD) — The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) celebrated the graduation ceremony for the 2024 Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police Ranger graduating class last week. Fifteen recruits successfully completed a 120-hour training academy to become EnCon Rangers. An additional 10 Rangers will return to the field from previous years.

The revitalized training program, now in its fourth year, provides support to DEEP’s EnCon Police and provides the EnCon Rangers with training and experience to prepare them for a future career in law enforcement.

The EnCon Rangers are an extension of the EnCon Police, supporting law enforcement responsibilities in the shoreline state parks: Hammonasset Beach, Rocky Neck, Silver Sands, and Sherwood Island, and in select inland state parks such as Wadsworth Falls, Squantz Pond, and other parks throughout the state.

“Congratulations to all of the graduates; their hard work and love for the outdoors are why they have earned these positions,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Their critical support to the EnCon team will help millions of visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience in our state parks this summer.”

Rangers are readily identifiable in bright yellow shirts and engage with the public to foster a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors. They serve in an educational role but can also enforce the laws within the state parks. Rangers can issue infractions for violations of any park regulation or law, as well as provide assistance to our visitors.

“EnCon Rangers provide for the safety and security of our park visitors. With the increased number of visitors enjoying our parks, they play an important role,” said EnCon Police Sergeant Jeffrey Bruno, the training sergeant for the EnCon Ranger Program. “This group bonded during the training academy and I’m excited to see them join returning Rangers who have previously served in the program. We are grateful for the support the program receives from other state law enforcement agencies, which emphasizes community engagement and service.”

Graduate Cody Cox, when asked why he wanted to be an Encon Ranger, responded, “I want to work in environmental law enforcement, and I thought this would be a great way to gain experience working with the public and to get outside.” 

The graduating Rangers hail from Andover, Colchester, Glastonbury, Mansfield, Milford, Oxford, Plainville, Portland, Somers, Wallingford, and Warren, as well as Chicopee, Mass., and Harrisville, N.H.

DEEP is pleased with the recent success of the Ranger program in preparing them for a career in law enforcement. To date, EnCon Police have hired four police officers that have come through the Ranger program. In addition, two Rangers became DEEP emergency dispatchers who provide vital support for officers working in the field. Numerous others have gone on to work with other state and federal agencies since serving as Rangers. 

DEEP would like to acknowledge the Police Officers Standards Training Council (POSTC) for their continued support of the EnCon Ranger training academy. Training staff from other law enforcement agencies provide vital support during the academy and include the following staff:

  • Detective Sergeant Ret. Reilly of POSTC,
  • Officer Rinaldi of Greenwich PD, 
  • Sergeant Mordasiewicz of Hartford PD, 
  • Officer Spiranza of Bridegport PD, 
  • Lieutenant Angelo Collazo of Bridgeport PD,
  • Marc Williams of Connecticut Department of Children and Families,
  • Officer Decrosta of Chester PD,
  • Max Bertsch (Sgt. Ret. New London PD) from CT Juvenile Court,
  • and Director Fasano of POSTC

Also, our thanks to the support of EnCon Staff, Academy Training Officer Landry, and Academy Drill Sergeant DeFelice.

Follow EnCon Police on Facebook at Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police.

Twitter: @CTDEEPNews
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DEEP Communications