Michigan state park officers want right to carry guns

Michigan state park officers want right to carry guns

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

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

Michigan Department of Natural Resources spokesman Ed Golder says the agency is happy to evaluate the union's concerns. He contested the union's allegations that the number of incidents at state parks is escalating or that parks are unsafe.

Michigan has 320 state park officers who are equipped with pepper spray, batons and handcuffs. Golder says the state has about 220 conservation officers, who are allowed to carry guns.

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