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Four rangers with the Natchez Trace Parkway received awards for excellence in training from the National Park Service (NPS). The Natchez Trace Parkway is one of 22 parks that takes recent graduates of the basic law enforcement academy and leads them through an 11-week long Field Training and Evaluation Program. This program builds on the skills the graduate has learned at the academy and upon completion of the program, the graduate will be capable of working a solo patrol assignment in a safe, skillful, productive, and professional manner.
The Natchez Trace Parkway has been a part of the NPS Field Training and Evaluation Program since it was implemented in 2004 and has trained more rangers than any other park. Rangers Jay Drinkwater, Ryan Balentine, Brent Mahle, and John Hearne were recognized for their dedication to the Service and to their students. Special recognition was also bestowed upon Jay Drinkwater, who has performed more evaluations of trainees than anyone else in the National Park Service.
"The Rangers involved in the field training program are considered the best of the best," stated Chief Ranger, Sarah Davis, "I am very proud of each of them and know that when the trainees graduate from this program they have the skills necessary to handle any situation."