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Cleveland Metroparks announced Dan Veloski as its new Chief Ranger today. Veloski had been serving previously as the Park District's interim chief. His appointment to the position was voted on by the Board of Park Commissioners this morning during an executive session of the board meeting.
�The safety and security of our park visitors is our number one priority,� said Park Commissioner Debra Berry. �Chief Veloski shares this belief and his leadership, not only over the past year, but during his entire career with Cleveland Metroparks, reflects this.�
Veloski had been the interim chief since January 2013 following the retirement of Chief Gregory Loftus. The chief of the Park District's Ranger Division is responsible for a staff of approximately 100 Rangers and support personnel. The Rangers are responsible for patrolling all 18 Cleveland Metroparks reservations, golf courses, trails and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and they maintain a full traffic unit, horseback mounted unit, K-9 unit, detective bureau, dive team, bike patrol team, field operations division, communications unit and honor guard. Earlier today, the Ranger Division, under Veloski's leadership, was honored as Safe Kids Coalition Partner of the Year and received an award for Social Media Use For Outreach and Education.
�Chief Veloski has done an exemplary job leading our Ranger Division since the beginning of this year,� said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman. �Even with the challenge of adding the new lakefront properties, the division has thrived under his leadership and they have held the new parks to the same standards of safety and excellence we expect at all of our existing reservations.�
Veloski began his law enforcement career with the Rangers more than 20 years ago, starting as a Ranger in the Field Operations Division in 1991, but his dedication to Cleveland Metroparks began even before that when he worked as a seasonal employee at the Zoo. He was promoted to sergeant in 1997, lieutenant in 2001 and captain in 2002. He is a member of the Child Abduction Response Team and a Certified Law Enforcement Executive where he has served as a mentor and advisor. Veloski earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice/police science at Kent State University in 1991 and a master's degree in psychology-diversity management at Cleveland State University in 2005.
�It has been an honor to serve the people of Northeast Ohio as they visit our parks for exercise, recreation or just to spend time with one another,� said Chief Veloski. �And I look forward to continuing to lead this division and passing this sense of honor on to future Rangers.�
Cleveland Metroparks Ranger Division has a long history of dedication to the Park District and Northeast Ohio. Since its founding in 1920 as the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District Police Department and the hiring of its first officer in 1921, the Rangers have protected generations of park visitors.
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