Michigan state park officers want right to carry guns

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The union representing Michigan state park officers says they should be allowed to have guns and bulletproof vests to handle unruly visitors.

The Michigan State Employees Association says officers are in an unsafe work environment because of a lack of training and equipment, MLive.com reported . The union has filed a complaint with the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Park officers work in situations that can escalate quickly and should be better equipped, said Ken Moore, the association’s president. Park officers should also have access to enforcement data systems so they can run background checks on park visitors, he said.

“We’re are not going to just stand by and allow our State Park Officers to be threatened, abused and put in dangerous situations they are not equipped to deal with,” Moore said.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is happy to evaluate the union’s concerns, spokesman Ed Golder said.