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Operations Division

Under the direction of Captain Mark Ruppenthal, the Operations Division serves to protect the lives and property of visitors and employees, and to protect the District's natural resources, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It staffs the District with a set minimum number of officers at all times. Six teams, under the direction of Watch Commanders and sergeants who serve as shift supervisors, work a 4/10 plan to provide daily coverage for all calls for service.

Each shift meets at the Police Department for a shift briefing daily before "hitting the street." The District and EBMUD watershed facilities that it patrols are divided into 6 beats (geographical areas based on equal division of calls for service). Beats are modified as demands change to ensure timely response by the patrol beat officer.

On any given day, the department has a Watch Commander on duty. The Watch Commanders are police lieutenants who oversee patrol operations on a day-to-day basis. Lieutenant Lance Brede serves as the Watch Commander Wednesday through Saturday. He can be reached at 510-690-6501. Lieutenant Jon King serves as Watch Commander Sunday through Wednesday. He can be reached at 510-690-6552.

Captain Mark Ruppenthal
Captain Mark Ruppenthal
Lieutenant Jon King
Lieutenant Jon King 

Team Concept: Another device for making greater use of human resources is the application of the team concept to operations. The entire department is divided into teams, each of which is responsible for department tasks either during a given time period or in a certain geographical or functional area. Teams work and train together over a substantial period of time in order to develop the coordination required for effective performance. Also, through the team concept, personnel gain new perspectives of goals and problems.

Helicopter Unit


One of the District's two "Eagle" helicoptersThe District Police Department operates two turbine-powered helicopters that provide seven-days-a-week police patrol coverage. Two Police Officer-Pilots and one Volunteer Flight Medic operate these agile, high-speed aircraft. Helicopter crews work in concert with District Police patrol officers to ensure the safety of all park visitors. In addition, District Police helicopters will assist any allied police agency requesting mutual aid. District Police aircraft are equipped with multiple police band radios, high-powered binoculars, thermal-imaging equipment and a 30-million candlepower Nightsun® spotlight for night operations. 


During the prolonged hot, dry months of the summer and fall, the Helicopter Unit teams up with the District Fire Department to provide Heli-Tac and water bucket responses to fires. Bambi Bucket® equipment is carried on all routine patrol flights, enabling a rapid response to fires. If a fire should erupt, the Bambi Bucket is quickly attached to the helicopter for direct attack. Ponds, streams and lakes are ready water sources for providing rapid delivery of water on active fires via the Bambi Bucket. During times of extreme fire hazards, Park District Fire Fighters act as Heli-Tac crewmembers and are transported swiftly to fires. Once deployed at the fire scene, Heli-Tac crews act in concert with the water-dropping helicopter in an effort to extinguish fires quickly.

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The helicopter and crew are dispatched to all medical aid calls within the District. Should a park visitor require medical assistance, the helicopter can land and provide direct medical care. In cases of severe injuries or remote locations, the helicopter can easily be configured into an air ambulance in order to convey injured persons to the appropriate hospital. Speed does matter in emergencies. From anywhere within the East Bay Regional Park District, our helicopter can deliver an injured person to the appropriate hospital and definitive medical care within eight minutes.

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Volunteer Flight Medic

Normal flight crew configuration includes a Volunteer Flight Medic to augment the flight crew. Volunteer Flight Medics may provide direct medical care to injured park visitors. Depending upon the severity of injury or incident location, the Medic will determine if further treatment or transport is needed.

Volunteer Flight Medics are medical professionals with at least three years' experience as an ALS (Advanced Life Support) paramedic providers performing pre-hospital care and with accreditations such as ACLS, BTLS, PALS, PEPP, or PHTLS. Once selected, Volunteer Flight Medics will complete approximately 20 hours of aero-medical training and a field-training program. To obtain more information about this volunteer program and to apply, please contact Officer M. Jackley. Call 510-544-3014 or send a message via our online form.

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When not fighting crime, fires or saving lives, the District helicopters provide other valuable services as well. Protection of natural resources, wildlife surveys, global positioning satellite mapping flights, photographic missions, vegetation management surveys and land surveys are examples of just a few of the additional services provided. It is the unique perspective afforded by aerial over-flights that make the District Police helicopters such a valuable tool.

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Investigations Unit

The Investigations Unit is part of the Operations Division and is staffed with one sergeant and three detectives. This unit is responsible for conducting follow-up investigations on all crimes that occur within East Bay Regional Park District police jurisdiction. Investigations works closely with the Alameda and Contra Costa County District Attorneys Offices to obtain criminal filings and to pursue the prosecution of suspects who have been arrested. The detectives in this unit also work closely with their counterparts in other law enforcement agencies to ensure coordination of criminal investigations. For six months of the year, two additional officers are assigned through Investigations to work with officers from other Alameda County agencies on task forces investigating narcotics trafficking and serious sex offenders.

The Investigations Unit maintains a tip line that citizens can call to provide information confidentially about crimes that fall within the jurisdiction of the District Police. The tip line telephone number is 510-690-6521.

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Special Enforcement Unit

Special Enforcement UnitUnder the command of the Operations Division, the Special Enforcement Unit applies intensive enforcement efforts on significant policing issues that occur in District parklands. This unit utilizes a variety of methods and tools to carry out its mission, including the use of off-road vehicles and motorcycles, bicycles and foot patrol. Officers often change their patrol routines to provide the best enforcement options needed to address the identified problems.

Members of the Special Enforcement Unit work as a team to provide added investigative support for the Investigations Unit in high profile criminal cases. Additionally, officers are assigned to public special events within the District where they provide security and crime prevention functions.

Marine Patrol Unit

Marine Patrol unitThe Marine Patrol Unit provides a unique and important service for the District and those visitors who enjoy water-related recreation. Using police-equipped watercraft, officers patrol the District's lakes and waterways ensuring that environmental, boating safety and California Department of Fish and Wildlife matters are addressed. Since boating safety is of prime concern to the District, the Marine Patrol Unit conducts proactive enforcement efforts on the District's high-use waterways.

See also: California Department of Boating and Waterways and United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

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Mounted Patrol Unit

This unique and popular policing unit conducts its enforcement function on horseback. Much of the District's trail system is remote and inaccessible by patrol vehicle. To enhance the effectiveness of the Police Department's mission, equestrian officers provide a specialized means of enforcement in the most remote regions of the District.

Currently, the unit utilizes four horses that are well-trained to patrol the recreation areas. Mounted Patrol officers are ready to respond to such emergencies as lost or missing trail users, accidents occurring in wilderness areas, and urban park disturbances involving large groups of people.

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Watershed Contract

The East Bay Regional Park District Police Department affords police services to the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) under a Police Services Agreement. As part of this agreement, EBMUD provides a substation at San Pablo Reservoir and a fleet of fully equipped police vehicles including four-wheel drive utility vehicles and off-road motorcycles. EBMUD also provides patrol boats at each of its reservoirs. Because EBMUD's mission is to supply East Bay residents with clear, clean drinking water, the emphasis of the police officers assigned to patrol EBMUD areas is on protecting the watershed and reservoirs as well as on protecting the public. 

Property and Evidence Unit

The Property and Evidence Unit is a one-person operation, responsible for the receipt, documentation, storage and tracking of all property coming into the possession of the Police Department. Hours of operation are generally 7:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Thursday. All property is released by appointment only. To make an appointment you may call (510) 690-6565, or send an e-mail to You will be required to present a valid photograph identification at the time of the appointment to retrieve property.


Evidence is released in the following ways:
1) By court order
2) A request to release property by the Detective responsible for the incident in which the evidence was seized
3) Upon adjudication of the court case.
The Property and Evidence Specialist cannot release evidence without authorization.

Found Property

State Law requires that found property valued at $100.00 or more, will be surrendered to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction. Found property is retained for 90 days and if not claimed within the specified time frame it will be disposed of. Found property may be claimed by the finder if the true owner does not claim the property within the 90 day period. If the found property is valued at $250.00 or greater, a one-time notice must be published in a local newspaper and run for a period of seven (7) days. If the true owner does not claim the property, the finder may claim the found property, but must pay for the cost of the publication in the newspaper. If the finder was issued a receipt at the time the found property was surrender to law enforcement, it must be presented at the time the found property is claimed.

View Found Property Items in possession of the Property and Evidence Unit.

Safekeeping Property

Will be held for a period of 60 days, if the owner of the safekeeping property was issued a receipt at the time the property was taken, it must be presented along with a valid, photograph identification at the time the safekeeping property is returned. Mr. Larry Kiefer is the current Property and Evidence Specialist for the department and can be reached at the telephone number or e-mail address noted above.
The Property and Evidence Specialist maintains a list of found items, listed by Park location, date/time found and item description. The items are purged from the list if claimed or upon disposition after 90 days.

Property (Online auction site)

The East Bay Regional Park District Police Department utilizes the services of to auction off all of our abandoned, stolen, lawfully seized or unclaimed property of every kind and description, remaining unclaimed for the periods prescribed by law, or more. Property Room makes our auctions available on an ongoing basis, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Items being auctioned include bikes, cars, rugs, electronics, jewelry, clothing, tools, musical instruments, sporting equipment and more.
The Property Evidence Specialist maintains a list of found items, listed by Park location, date/time found and item description. The items are purged from the list if claimed or upon disposition after 90 days.

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Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol

Volunteer Saftey Patrol
The East Bay Regional Park District District Police Department's Volunteer Coordinator supervises the District's Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol, whose many members enjoy riding and hiking District trails and interacting with the public. The Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol comprises five patrol groups: the Volunteer Mounted Patrol, the Volunteer Bicycle Patrol, the Volunteer Hiking Patrol, the Companion Dog Patrol, and the Volunteer Marine Safety Unit.

The purpose of the Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol is to assist the East Bay Regional Park District and its Public Safety Department in the safe, effective management of parklands. Members receive training in all facets of park user safety and are charged with a duty to Observe, Educate, Report...and Enjoy. The Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol promotes safe and courteous park and trail use by District visitors. Patrol members provide visitors with educational information, and they forward to park and public safety personnel their observations of facility safety or law enforcement issues. Many patrol members are equipped with District two-way radios or personal cellular phones. Patrol members seek to maintain positive relationships among trail user groups and to project a professional image of the District.

For more information about this program and to request membership information, please visit the Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol Web site.

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Reserve Police Officer Program

The Reserve Police Officer Unit is a volunteer organization of men and women who provide community service by assisting the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department. The Reserve Police Officers assist in routine law enforcement, special events, and emergency situations. These officers are an extremely valuable asset to the Department and have volunteered thousands of hours over the last several years.

For more information about the various opportunities for Reserve Officers and to obtain information on the testing requirements, obligations and necessary training, please contact Sgt. D. Hall at (510) 690-6515 or send a message via our online form.