Gorges State Park ranger’s disrespect is ‘sickening’

When I read Joe Stelpflug’s letter [“Beer Tourists, Beware of Gorges State Park,” July 16, Xpress], I was not at all surprised by the pompous attitude possessed by the Gorges State Park ranger he encountered on the July Fourth holiday.

For some reason, in most instances, law enforcement officers believe that a badge gives them an excuse to disrespect and harrass  the very people they  have sworn to protect and serve and treat them with complete disrespect!

If it had been me, my mouth would probably have gotten me put in jail.

I’m so sick of their “above the law attitudes,” disrespect for their common man and out and out corruption that seems so commonplace among law enforcement officers these days!

And believe me! I’ve had a very difficult time referring to them as law enforcement officers as I’ve written this letter! Yet, over years and years and years, people just turn their heads the other way!  Sickening!

Cynthia Tomaszewski 
Black Mountain

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One thought on “Gorges State Park ranger’s disrespect is ‘sickening’

  1. Keith Bamberger

    In response to Ms. Tomaszewski and Mr. Stelpflug letters about Ranger behavior in Gorges State Park — First, it is never appropriate to be disrespectful to another – especially by one in power. The ranger’s lack of respect is wrong, and I hope this has been or will be addressed by his supervisors. I also find the response of both Mr. Stelpflug and Ms. Tomaszewski distasteful. It is very clear, that it is against the law to have alcohol in the North Carolina State Parks and Forests. Mr. Stelpflug was breaking the law. The ranger caught him breaking the law, and let him go with a warning. Ms. Tomaszewski seems to feel that it is ok to break the law, and feels violated by the person whose job it is to enforce the law is doing his job.

    I think a little education might help. State Park Rangers are law enforcement offices, and go through the same training that Police Offices and Highway Patrolmen go through. But they are also educators, and the public thinks of them as combos of Ranger Rick and Smokey the Bear. They also are responsible for the health or the land or resource. This makes there jobs very difficult – all for a starting play that is less than a police officer or a teacher, and often their only line of safety is the radio. It may be one of the most difficult jobs in North Carolina Government, and it is especially true in the parks in Western North Carolina where is misplaced step can result in serious falls and death (many people have died a Gorges State park – at great expense to the people of North Carolina). Disrespecting a Park Ranger makes their job much more difficult.

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