Support State Park Police - The Fisherman

Support State Park Police

To: Organizations, all surf fishing clubs, concerned users of the parks, and anglers on Long Island.

Subject: Disbanding the New York State Parks Police in favor of rangers.

Initiating Group: The Fishing Advisory Board of Long Island State Parks (since 1978) has been dealing with the various enforcement issues at L.I. State Parks for decades. These problems have convinced us that an absence of park police in the parks (beaches, parking lots, campground, etc.) would result in disastrous consequences for state park visitors and managers.

Current Status: The Park Police are under the operational command of the N.Y. State Police. Experience has taught us that in order for policing in the parks to be the most effective, the Park Police must remain intact and separate from the N.Y. State Police.

ALL ANGLERS: Be clear, the disbanding of the state park police will leave the parks without a police presence and will negatively impact your fishing enjoyment. Your support is desperately needed to keep the park police intact and separate from the State Police. Park Police are the only peace officers whose priorities lie within state parks.

The following bullet points explain why disbanding or not keeping the Park Police intact will be a disastrous move that will threaten the use of the parks by all patrons. You may use these bullet points in e-mails and letters. It is VERY important that your effort not simply be a repeat of what is provided here. All correspondence must be original. Officials no longer give serious consideration to form letters or petitions. Always frame your correspondence in terms of your own experiences. Feel free to cherry pick items from the bullet points, but PLEASE put them in your own words. All correspondence should be short and to the point. Also, please urge anyone you know, be they affiliated with a club, organization or not, to write a letter or send an e-mail in support of retaining the parks police intact.

If we are unable to save the park police it is likely that anglers, swimmers, walkers, etc. will experience more and more problems.

Bullet Points:

  1. Rangers are not law enforcement officers. Public safety people are not police officers. They have no police authority and do not carry guns, and thus they cannot effectively enforce the law or properly handle illegal activities in the parks and on the beaches.
  2. Some state officials are counting on the State Police to pick up the slack. Yet, the State Police have made it clear that they have no interest in that job. Although they sometimes patrol the roadways leading into and out of the parks, their priorities lie in patrol and crime prevention outside park parking lots, beaches, campgrounds, etc.
  3. The State Police haven’t been a constant presence in the parks over the decades, and they do not possess the intimate knowledge about seasonal differences and needs, personnel, and priorities for managing parks.
  4. Some state officials believe they can count on county police, yet again, their presence is minimal and limited to a few high-speed patrols on some beaches. They too have little interest in monitoring the parks’ parking lots, beaches, or other facilities.
  5. Even if state officials can negotiate help from state and county police, the response time is likely to be so long that effective protection of the public and efficient law enforcement will be almost, if not, totally impossible.
  6. In 2020 32 million people used L.I. State Parks and deserve a proper policing presence.
  7. There are unique problems that only the Park Police can handle. For example, there has been a growing problem with non-permitted dune rider clubs using the beaches as 4WD playgrounds that destroy the essential dunes. Who will handle that problem?
  8. With more and more people using the parks in an increasing variety of ways, the absence of a visible and on-going police presence, will likely lead to more civilian altercations, drug use issues, alcohol abuse issues, and more non-permitted uses of the beaches. As that situation evolves, chaos follows.
  9. The lack of effective policing could, and likely will, deter people from using the beaches and that will equate to a loss of revenue for the state.
  10. Without an effective and on-going police presence from “real” peace officers already stationed in the parks, the overall positive experiences of users will be diminished. Ensuring a positive experience for patrons has been part of the mission statement of state parks for as long as anyone can remember. Without Park Police there is little hope of sustaining a positive experience for users.
  11. The answer to budget problems is not to leave an entire division of state recreation unpoliced.

How to Contact People Who Make This Decision:

Your letters or emails should be sent to the following individuals:

  • New York State Governor: The Honorable Kathy Hochul

Address: NY State Capital Building, Albany, N.Y. 12224

or c/o

Emma Muirhead: and Kathyrn Garcia:

  • New York State Parks Commissioner: Erik Kulleseid


Fax: 518-474-1513

  • New York State Assembly Members and State Senators:

To locate your State Senator:

To locate your State Assembly Representative: