Date of Award

5-2017

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Charles Sheer, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Criminal Justice

Abstract

The following study focuses on the safety of visitors travelling the Natchez Trace Parkway and their general safety while on Parkway property. The aim of the study was to conduct qualitative research in order to assess the hazards and risks that may befall the visitors of the Natchez Trace Parkway and how to combat these risks in the most direct way possible. A sample of recreational and law enforcement rangers took part in a questionnaire regarding their opinions of the level of safety at the park, and a diluted risk assessment was conducted while travelling through the section of the Parkway that traverses through Mississippi. Any past data related to this topic of research was analyzed and compared to the findings of the present research. Essentially, the need for increased funding, park ranger alertness, safety warning, roadside assistance, emergency phones, and general maintenance are all necessities when it comes to protecting visitors. This study hopes to contribute to the field of visitor safety by surfacing the weaknesses associated with park security. These weaknesses are not due to a lack of compassion and work ethic from the park staff, but rather from a lack of the necessary funds and resources to fully combat crime on park grounds. In summation, this study aims to promote visitor safety on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

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