For the U.S. Park Police, summer in D.C. just got hotter. Funding shortages, a high-profile management shake-up, and a long list of election-year commitments are stretching resources. The U.S. Park Police (USPP) is the federal force responsible for patrolling the National Mall, as well as the Statue of Liberty in New York City and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. And while the USPP is used to the hot and sticky capital summers, events are shaping up to make the summer of 2004 especially uncomfortable. A federally funded study, released in August 2001 by the independent National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), found a list of 20 areas that needed improvement in the force. However, the ink was barely dry on NAPA's recommendations for the Park Police when the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 changed the landscape in which the USPP operated and complicated reform efforts at the force.An updated report by NAPA released in February 2004 found that the USPP has made only limited progress on many of its previous recommendations. For example, NAPA suggested the USPP focus its energies on Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas, turning over policing duties in New York City and San Francisco to park rangers. But the USPP rejected that idea. In addition to the force's usual duties in Washington, New York City and San Francisco, USPP officers will be in Boston in July to help provide security for the Democratic National Convention. They will also provide security for the Republican National Convention in New York City in September.With administration officials predicting that terrorists could try to strike prior to the fall elections, it's likely that the USPP will be sweating this summer out.