By RYAN SHERIDAN
Daily Press writer
Bureau of Land Management Ranger Brad Merrill will be leaving the Little Snake Field Office on Dec. 2 not permanently, but he will be temporarily reassigned to Washington, D.C., to join the effort to tighten the security of airports, public lands and other possible targets on the East Coast for terrorist attacks.
Several other Rangers from Colorado have already returned from serving under the U.S. Secret Service, and one of the reasons Merrill is being called later was so he could be here for the November hunting seasons in Moffat County.
"We were lucky to keep Brad through the hunting seasons," BLM Special Agent for Colorado John Silence said. "His team leaves Dec. 2, and they'll hopefully be back by Dec. 22. I want to have my people back by Christmas, but I don't know how things will go."
Merrill will be assigned duties by the Secret Service, because the Office of Homeland Defense is still getting organized, he said.
"Basically, he'll be working with the Secret Service, who will assign him a post. I don't know what he'll be assigned to," Silence said. "The Homeland Defense Office is having their growing pains, so the Secret Service is taking over for now. They also have the Olympic games coming up, which they'll also have to deal with federal law enforcement is really stretched."
Some Rangers are serving as sky marshalls on airliners, and will do so until the Federal Aviation Administration has their own teams trained and organized. Rangers from Colorado, and across the country, will be leaving off and on to aid security efforts, and these reassignments could happen until March, Silence said.
Merrill, working in the field, was not available for comment.