Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

FOLSOM (CBS 13) — Folsom city leaders are keeping their community honest.

The city created a “park patrol unit” to make sure people are social distancing outdoors. City leaders said keeping people safe sometimes takes more than signs and caution tape.

Ray Privett is a city streets department worker who was initially deemed a nonessential employee but found a new calling for the time being.

“For the most part its been pretty good, I haven’t had too many issues,” he said.

Privett and seven others volunteered when city leaders came up with the idea to give workers on paid leave a chance to give back. They patrol 48 parks, 7 days a week.

“People [are] doing jobs they don’t normally do, but people stepped up to say ‘I want to help with this, I don’t want to sit at home,’” said Elaine Andersen, the Folsom City Manager.

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Privett said the process starts with a conversation. On Tuesday, he explained to a group that was putting up a volleyball net at the park, that their game did not follow social distancing protocol. They resisted at first, but eventually packed up and left.

Ray said his toughest call was breaking up a group of teens having a pizza party. Another time, he came to the rescue.

“I helped an elderly man get his wife off the trail the other day, she was sick,” he said.

From the streets to the parks, Privett said he keeps Folsom safe in more ways than he ever expected.

The park patrollers are able to call police for back up if a group of people causes trouble, but according to the city, that’s only happened twice.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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