BC Conservation Officers –
· If you get into trouble or trouble finds you in BC’s back country, a CO will likely be the only law enforcement working in your area, or know how to find you
· With BC’s population growing and the value of our natural resources increases, our numbers have declined. Inadequate staffing levels is resulting in higher case loads, slower response times and or no response at all. Our motto used to be “Anytime Anywhere” now it is “Sometimes Maybe”. We need more boots on the ground!
· BC Conservation Officers have the most diverse resource law enforcement job in Canada, yet we are amongst the worst paid. Being poorly paid and compensated is hurting our recruitment and retention of officers
· CO’s face constant danger. Such as patrolling alone in remote areas with limited backup, regularly dealing with armed suspects, dangerous wildlife and hazardous wastes
· CO's normally enter the field with either a diploma or a degree
· CO's attend a four month long academy before they are deployed. The Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy (WCLEA).
WCLEA is a training academy that was founded by conservation officer/fish and wildlife agencies from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Yukon. WCLEA provides recruits about 80% of their specialized training required for their employment. Currently, the academy is about a 12-week consisting of courses such as firearms, defensive tactics, swift water rescue, emergency vehicle operators' course, 4x4, snowmobile, interview and interrogation, chemical immobilization, conflict wildlife mitigation, ice rescue.
· CO’s serve as representatives for the Provincial government in their local committees, task forces and are involved in multi-agency intelligence networks.
· Charities – through fund raising, social events and charity sporting events, we regularly donate money to BC Children’s Hospital and Kids Sport.
· Some CO's are involved in lobbying for tougher environmental laws and penalties for polluters and poachers
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