Why Environmental Police Officers Are Important

Why Environmental Police Officers Are Important

Everyone knows that the typical job of a police officer involves things like patrolling neighborhoods, enforcing traffic laws, investigating crimes, and directing traffic when necessary.

In addition to these job duties, some police officers hold positions dedicated to environmental needs. These officers are classified as environmental police officers, and they’re just as important as any other.

Although environmental police have been around for a long time, many people don’t know they exist. Possibly because police have been getting a bad rap and fewer people are aware of all the good law enforcement officers do for their communities. Sometimes positive stories about police are suppressed and not shared much on social media, and that’s where most people get their news.

Environmental police officers do amazing things, but it’s unsurprising if you didn’t know they existed before reading this article. The National Police Association (NPA) is working to change both the inaccurate, negative perception of police officers as a whole and bring greater exposure to all the good they do in the world through educational videos and legal work. However, they have a long way to go to gain greater public acceptance of law enforcement as a positive force.

If you’re on the fence regarding this issue, just looking at what environmental police do might persuade you to form a new opinion of law enforcement officers.

What Does an Environmental Police Officer Do?

Environmental police officers are the same as any other officer at a basic level, but they focus on protecting natural resources like waterways, land, and animals. They specialize in enforcing laws pertaining to recreational outdoor activities, like hunting and fishing, boating, and using recreational vehicles, like quads. More specifically, they’re trained to enforce laws that exist to prevent environmental pollution and exploitation.

When there are accidents or fatalities involving hunters or boaters, for example, an environmental police officer will likely be the one to investigate. They also host safety courses and activities designed to educate people regarding the safe operation of watercraft, snowmobiles, off-road vehicles, and all related safety equipment. People who belong to hunting and fishing clubs, schools, and other groups often sign up for these classes.

In some states, an environmental police officer must have previous experience working with wildlife, conservation, environmental science, marine science, forestry, or other similar areas. Although, sometimes education without experience is also accepted, like in Massachusetts, for example.

Why the Environment Needs Police Enforcement

If you’re used to thinking about environmental protection in terms of small things people can do to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce plastic waste, you might be wondering where police officers fit into the situation. The simple answer is that people don’t always think (or care) about the consequences of their actions on the environment, and if left on their own without rules, many would leave massive piles of trash behind and dump trash into rivers, lakes, and streams. These issues are prevalent, although not as much when the laws are enforced to a high degree by environmental police.

In general, environmental police officers are specifically stationed at locations like national parks, state parks, nature reserves, and wildlife conservation centers. Their job is to protect the land and water from things like litter, vandalism, and other types of damage. They will patrol the area to enforce the rules, like making sure people are cleaning up after themselves at campsites and not being careless with campfires. They are extremely knowledgeable regarding wildlife, including fish, plants, and game.

Environmental police are also trained to spot disruptions to natural environments and they perform search and rescues in national parks and other areas.

During a typical day, environmental police officers will monitor activity on waterways to make sure people are being safe and have a license for activities that require one. They’ll also watch for illegal dumping and stop people from disposing of hazardous waste in parks and bodies of water. If they’re too late, they’ll initiate a solution to control the damage as much as possible.

Environmental Police Cares About Our Planet

Environmental officers are important because they not only care about the planet, but they’re willing to go through rigorous training to protect it. That’s a big commitment. It’s definitely a job reserved for people who want to enforce the law and protect the environment at the same time, and that’s no easy feat.

Just as we need regular police officers to support our communities, we need environmental officers to keep nature beautiful and ensure it remains habitable for fish and other wildlife critical to the ecosystems that keep our planet alive.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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