Report: Assaults increase on rangers, park police

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new report shows that park rangers, wildlife refuge workers and U.S. Park Police officers suffered more assaults and threats by visitors last year than in 2011.

The report by the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says reported incidents at six land and water agencies increased by about 38 percent last year compared to 2011. The biggest increases were 43 percent jumps at wildlife refuges and areas patrolled by U.S. Park Police.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report ahead of its release Monday. It's based on figures obtained from the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and other agencies.

The executive director of PEER, Jeff Ruch, says the report shows that violence and abuse directed against rangers and other workers is becoming more common.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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