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Lisco obtains statewide training grant

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Jack Lisco, Slippery Rock University associate professor of parks and recreation, has received a $39,711 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to lead a statewide training program.

Lisco will provide 20 law enforcement managers from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry and Bureau of State Parks with 120 hours of park law enforcement training. The three-week training program, which begins Feb. 4, will be offered at the Preston Environmental Center.

Lisco, who directs SRU's Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program, said the state asked him to head the training because SRU has taught park law enforcement for decades.

"The bottom line is we have 30 years of park law enforcement training," Lisco said. "It is a huge honor for us, and it is significant that the DCNR acknowledges our experience. They came to us and asked us to do this. This came to us because of our reputation for law enforcement education."

Since managers supervise law enforcement rangers, they need a better understanding of law enforcement in parks. This understanding leads to better working relations that ultimately enhances the agency and improves efficiency.

"We have seen that on a national basis many of the national managers did not completely understand law enforcement. It is imperative that managers fully understand those they supervise," Lisco said.

The training will consist of intensive topics and current issues that are critical components of local, state, and national park law enforcement training programs, Lisco said.

Park managers will participate in role-play scenario training, physical tactics, group activities and lectures. Topics include criminal law, criminal and civil liability, search and seizure, patrol procedures, motor vehicle accident investigation, controlled substances, criminal investigation, ethics and authority and jurisdiction, Lisco said.

SRU's park law enforcement training program has a rich history of preparing graduates for work as park managers, law enforcement rangers, criminal investigators, chief rangers and park superintendents. Several of SRU's alumni who have been hired as park managers have returned to take this training over the past several years.

Returning alumni who are now park managers include: Jeremy Rekich, '94, environmental science, Presque Isle State; Ryan Borcz, '05, park and resource management, Chapman State Park; Brian Flores, '03, park and resource management, Promised Land State Park; Andrew St. John, '04, park and resource management, Canoe Creek State Park; and Jake Weiland, '05, park and resource management, Moraine State Park.