Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
The park service officers at the Lake Casitas Recreation Area have a little more weight to their authority now, although it has nothing to do with firearms. The board of directors of the Casitas Municipal Water District (CMWD) conferred temporary, unarmed, limited peace officer status upon the park personnel when the board met Wednesday in regular session.
"I see it as a risk-avoidance mechanism," said CMWD Director Russ Baggerly, who voted in favor of the motion to grant the temporary status. The concurrent condition of qualified immunity, he said, is necessary to reduce the vulnerability of the park and its personnel to lawsuits.