Andy Hutchison began a career with the National Park Service in 1961 as a park ranger on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Over the next decade he continued his service as a field ranger with assignments at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and as the first chief ranger at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Having built his credentials as a field ranger, Andy moved to what was then known as The Protection Division in the Washington Office in 1971. It was in that assignment that he began building the legacy that would define and distinguish his career. Beginning with the “Yosemite Riot” in 1970, followed by murder of Ranger Ken Patrick at Point Reyes in 1973, issuance of a new DOI Law Enforcement Policy in 1974, and passage of the General Authorities Act in 1976, NPS leaders confronted an unprecedented challenge to accommodate rapidly evolving law enforcement authorities and responsibilities. There was great uncertainly among NPS leaders, including many superintendents, about how to embrace the full range of emerging law enforcement tasks. Andy was an effective leader among those who confronted this challenge.
While in the Washington Office, and in collaboration with Wes Kreis and Division Chief (and later Chief of the U.S. Park Police) Parker T. Hill, Andy helped write the first version of NPS-9, the Law Enforcement Guideline. He was a key agent in guiding the NPS response to the mandates of Departmental Policy. And, above all, he was a leader in one of the major issues of that era – assuring that park rangers retained their traditional image even as they strapped on firearms and performed the full range of law enforcement duties.
But it was during his next assignment, 10 years as the NPS representative at the newly established Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, where Andy made a truly significant contribution. While there, he guided establishment of a land management curriculum that made the training relevant to park rangers; he developed and facilitated dozens of one-week training programs for managers designed to provide them with knowledge about their new challenges and comfort supervising the law enforcement function; and, most significantly, he mentored hundreds of park rangers attending basic training about how to successfully carry out the legal and policy demands of performing law enforcement duties within the context of national park ideals. For these years, he was the right person to do a very challenging job. The outcome of his work at FLETC was a law enforcement training program and, indeed, law enforcement actions throughout the country, that reflect the enduring traditions of the National Park Service.
Andy finished his career as Superintendent of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, and now resides with his wife, Marilyn, in Rapidan, Virginia.
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