There is another conservation officer working the North Okanagan.
Last spring, 20 conservation officers were sworn in and they are now working at various locations throughout the province.
The new faces mark the largest influx of recruits the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) has had in a decade and will fill existing vacancies and newly-funded positions in locations with the highest need and areas where retirements are imminent.
“We have some communities that haven’t seen a new conservation officer for a very long time, so these new recruits will significantly improve services,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
The 160 conservation officers throughout B.C. are located in 45 communities and work on a zone-coverage basis, where they respond to complaints and concerns anywhere in the zone.
Sixteen of the new recruits are fresh out of the Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy in Hinton, Alta. and will spend the next six months working with a field trainer. The other four officers come from law enforcement jurisdictions elsewhere.
“It’s an exciting time for the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. Communities and stakeholder groups are excited to see new officers out in the field protecting B.C.’s fish and wildlife, keeping citizens safe and ensuring our environment is sustainable for years to come,” said Doug Forsdick, chief conservation officer. “The new resources will enhance officer safety with a doubling of all of our single-officer posts. Areas with high-call volume and emerging pressures will also see an increase in staffing.”
Vernon is the only Okanagan community to get a new conservation officer.
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