The Department of Parks ranger division has been reorganized to provide more supervision of approximately 65 rangers assigned throughout the park system, Commissioner George Ward announced today.
Six sergeant positions were established as direct day-to-day supervisors for the rangers.
“In analyzing our ranger division, we saw a critical need to give rangers more management oversight through fellow law-enforcement professionals,” Ward said. “Previously, the rangers reported to park managers, who couldn’t be expected to know the unique challenges of professional law enforcement.”
The chain of command also has been beefed up with the hiring of a veteran Kentucky State Police officer in one of two existing captain positions in the ranger division. Each captain oversees three sergeants.
Robert Milligan of Georgetown served in a variety of KSP posts from 1976 until his retirement in 2003. In his most recent position as director of forensic services, he directed the operation of six crime laboratories.
Commissioner Ward said he and Deputy Commissioner Jerry Blanton, who oversees the division, are pleased to enhance the department’s minority representation with the hiring of Milligan and a new sergeant, Leroy Buckner of Glasgow. Buckner also joins the department from the ranks of the Kentucky State Police, where he served as a trooper from 1974 until his retirement in 2003.
The other sergeant positions were filled through the promotion of rangers already on staff. They are Bryan Cole, David Wallen, Chris Early, Troy Newcomb, and J.J. Hunter.
In February, Joey Hoover assumed the vacant position of director of the ranger division. Hoover had served as the city of Jamestown’s chief of police since 1995.