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Opinions on an issue concerning peace officers

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by wprebeck, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. wprebeck

    wprebeck Got quacks?

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    Ok, first off - this doesn't directly affect me. I'm in a debate on another forum about this issue, and even though I likely know what will be said here...I wanted to see it.

    Background - our state's conservation officers (insert whatever catchy name you'd like :supergrin: ) are fully sworn peace officers with statewide arrest authority. They attend the DOCJT academy like every other street agency, and then do an additional 12 weeks of their own, for a total of 30 weeks of academy. I don't know how long FTO is, but it's irrelevant to the discussion.

    Currently, there's a bill in play that would restrict these guys to wildlife violations ONLY. While I understand, and agree, that wildlife violations should be the primary focus of the officers...this would effectively make them mall cops of the woods (credit to a forum member over there for the phrasing).

    Our conservation officers are sometimes the only backup a local guy might have. For those patrolling rural areas, you understand how vital it is to have a backup officer available, no matter WHAT patch he wears. To not allow the conservation officers to act as backup for local folks would be, in my opinion, detrimental in several ways. Let's hear your opinions.

    Also, the officers routinely come across pot fields, meth labs, DUI/BUI (boating), possession of narcotics, etc. while performing their primary functions as conservation officers. If they are neutered, as this bill proposes, then they won't be able to arrest someone for being falling down drunk while he's fishing. Nah, that's not a public safety issue, is it? Same thing with running across a pot field. The suspects could actively be farming, and the officer couldn't do a damn thing about it.

    So, what say the GT braintrust? And I know for sure there's at least one Fed type wildlife guy on here. I plan on linking to this particular thread, since there are several people over there who actually support this happening, so make the responses good, if you will.

    Also, for the Kentucky residents viewing this - if you oppose it, make your voice heard. The bill is SB64, and this is only a portion of the entire bill. Some of the other parts, I don't have issues with - just this particular one. Read the bill, and contact your folks. I'm working on getting the FOP to oppose it.
     
  2. brianbat420

    brianbat420

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    I am on "O".com and a reserve deputy in a very rural enviroment. I will say this about any person who enforces laws, "You have a badge and a gun, you deserve every right that goes along with ANYONE wearing a badge and a gun." In my area we have BP, State, forest rangers, local, surround jurisdictions and it is a godsend to see another officer, of whatever type, backing you up. Those guys go out there and enforce laws with the potental to get killed. They deserve full status.
     

  3. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

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    Our Conservation Officers are fully sworn and the best trained police officers in the state of Indiana. I am instantly relieved to see them come to my aid. I wouldn't have them any other way.
     
  4. trifecta

    trifecta

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    Who is pushing this bill and why? Everything you said is true. They operate in a rural environment much of the time and who wouldn't want another officer available out there? Many officers have a focus-arson, homicide, traffic or whatever. That doesn't mean they will look past another offense or anot ssist another officer. I know a few years ago, one of our Game Wardens assisted in a foot pursuit and in some larger state parks will run radar.

    If it was up to me, there is no way that change happens.
     
  5. Captain Caveman

    Captain Caveman a.k.a. DaReaper

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    I'd bet one of the lawmakers got a ticket by one, and now has a hardon for these officers. Making laws because of this should be illegal.
     
  6. I'M Glockamolie

    I'M Glockamolie

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    That's absurd. There are plenty of other things a Game Warden (our term) does than enforce strictly game laws. As mentioned, what about boating while intoxicated? What is to be gained by neutering them?
     
  7. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

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    Keep them as real POPO the thin green line rules.....
     
  8. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Since I often worked in a rural area, I often worked with Arizona Game & Fish on all sorts of issues and once with U.S. FWS when dealing with the killing of eagles. These officials often work alone and back up may be hours away.

    They should have the authority to enforce the full scope of state law, because a stop for a minor unrelated violation may and often does reveal evidence of greater crimes such as poaching, trafficking in illegal animals, environmental crimes, etc.

    Any move to restrict their authority or limit the scope of their investigative powers is extremely short sighted and frankly stupid.
     
  9. AngryBassets

    AngryBassets Jagenden Übel

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    Often, these guys are the ONLY law enforcement around. Restricting their powers to wildlife-related issues is simply retarted.

    This is either some jerkoff union or, as stated above, a poacher politician pushing this.
     
  10. steveksux

    steveksux Massive Member

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    They went through the full academy, PLUS additional training, of COURSE they deserve full powers...

    It's not as if they're CO's! :rofl:

    On a serious note, would their reduced areas of enforcement disqualify them from LEOSA eligibility? Thought there was something about being able to enforce any statute?

    Randy
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  11. volsbear

    volsbear IWannaBeSedated Lifetime Member

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    This sounds like some political hack with a chip on his/her shoulder. I've been assisted by conservation officers. They're good eggs. While I agree that every agency should have a focus, you shouldn't neuter these guys to achieve it. You can focus the efforts of conservation police departments with appropriate policy without stripping them of their nads.
     
  12. Captain38

    Captain38

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    wprebeck,

    The changes as proposed in SB 64 sound reasonable to me, but I'm RETIRED and it's possible I AM missing something!

    You may note that the proposed new parts and deletions to the existing law lie between the quotation marks I've provided, but it'll PROBABLY make more sense if you just go directly to the link.

    http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/record/10RS/SB64/bill.doc

    Best I can determine, however, this must be what you're referring to:

    Section 4. KRS 150.090 is amended to read as follows:

    (1) Conservation officers appointed by the commissioner shall have full powers as peace officers for the enforcement of all of the laws of the Commonwealth, "except for the following restrictions:
    (a) Conservation officers[DELETE 'that' and 'they']" shall not enforce laws other than this chapter and the administrative regulations issued thereunder "unless:

    "1. There is a written request by the law enforcement agency to the commissioner, the written request discloses the reason for and the resources that will be used by that law enforcement agency, and the commissioner has determined the fiscal impact of the resource loss; or
    2. There is an immediate life-threatening situation; and
    (b) Conservation officers shall not[DELETE 'or' and 'to'] serve process "unrelated to the enforcement of the laws of this chapter and the administrative regulations issued thereunder[DELETE 'unless so directed by the commissioner in life threatening situations or when assistance is requested by another law enforcement agency'].

    Any request by a law enforcement agency for the assistance of conservation officers for a period longer than thirty (30) days shall require the approval of the commission. Assistance to other law enforcement agencies with approval of the commission shall not exceed thirty (30) days."

    Stay safe.

    Chuck
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  13. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    Keep it as it is. Game wardens (trout troopers/possum police/elk inspectors/deer detectives/carp cops) are as much a cop as anyone else on the job. Around here, we have an outstanding game warden who rolls on a lot of our calls in one of our rural areas; he is often the nearest backup within 15 minutes, and does a great job. If your F&G wardens are like the ones here, the state would really be screwing up bigtime to limit them like that.
     
  14. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

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    Creek cops around here are some of the most well-behaved, tactically sound, observant, and self-disciplined cops I know. Like I said above, I love seeing them hauling *** to my defense.

    IDNR officers run and/or take part in many of our multi-jurisdictional drug task forces including marijuana eradication, meth lab task force teams, stolen ORV interdiction, etc.
     
  15. CJStudent

    CJStudent No Longer Fenced In

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    I agree with the majority on here. The ones I've met are all top-notch; they were a LOT of the law enforcement in some of the more rurual areas of the state during the ice storm last winter, while local agencies had their hands full. This sounds like a retarded politician with a chip on their shoulder, like someone else said. I think someone got a ticket from one, and now wants their revenge.
     
  16. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

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    I think it is silly to restrict them. I see restricting their authority creating two problems:

    1. When they are investigating a wildlife crime, and stumble into something else they would have to call another agency to effect the arrest which is inefficient.

    2. If they are unable to enforce all crimes they would lose the PC that lets them do their job.

    For instance, if I have suspicion that there is a car full of win that needs to be stopped, I could stop them for a traffic crime such as an expired registration. Since the car is going to be impounded, I have both procedure and reasonable suspicion on my side to be able to talk to the occupants and seize their dope and stolen stuff.

    Now being a Deputy, if I was not able to enforce traffic I may be able to stop them on the basis of reasonable suspicion only, and talk to the occupants. This may or may not result in the recovery of the stolen stuff and the seizure, unless all of the stars were in alignment to be able to get assitance from the Highway Patrol...

    Regardless, the short investigation would become complicated.
     
  17. PinkoCommie

    PinkoCommie Unusual Member

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    From the perspective of a citizen, what exactly is gained by imposing restrictions? Have the F&G wardens been so unruly and oppressive that the legislature needs to rein them in?

    My take is that the legislature should leave them be.
     
  18. madcitycop

    madcitycop

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    If they go through the academy and have full powers already leave it the way it is. Having worked in an area where backup is not close its nice to know theres more rather than less out there. Once got backed up by an Illinois Secretary of State Police Officer and the next closest unit didnt get there until 10 minutes later. SOS Police enforce vehicle problems and other things under the DMV so an argument could be made for them but then I would have had no back up so... STUPID
     
  19. obxemt

    obxemt Chaplain of CT

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    Even if they restrict them, it's nothing a mutual aid request can't override.

    Our Marine Fisheries guys have wide latitude in subject matter and with searches relating to the "regulated activity" of fishing. They don't use it as much as they probably should. They're neutered from the inside of the agency.
     
  20. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

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    I was just gonna post this, thanks. Mutual aid should trump limited powers.