|Longtime JCPRD Chief Park Ranger Ralph Hays to Retire on Dec. 16|
Ralph Hays, Chief of Park Police for the Johnson County Park and Recreation District, will retire at the end of 2005 after more than 30 of exemplary service. As Chief Ranger in Johnson County, Kansas, he is the administrator of one of the most respected park police units in the country. Hay's final day will be Dec. 16.
Hays is nationally recognized in the specialized field of park law enforcement. Hays is a founding member of the Park Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) and its Kansas chapter, KPLEA. PLEA is a recognized affiliate of the National Recreation and Park Association, and KPLEA of KRPA. He has served on the Board of both organizations.
Hays has presented numerous sessions at various NRPA Congresses. Hays has been recognized by PLEA with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, he was awarded the KRPA Outstanding Professional Award.
Hays was appointed the District’s Chief Ranger in 1982. He had been employed as a ranger with the District since 1973. His appointment in 1982 was during the District’s successful transition and incorporation of a District-wide interpretive program. Inclusion of a new interpretive program, within the scope of the duties of park rangers, was an innovative program at the time. The interpretive program has received numerous awards regionally and nationally for its staff and programs and is a model for utilizing staff in dual-role capacities, i.e., interpretive instruction and environmental education, and park law enforcement.