Calls to the Wild: State recruits conservation and resource enforcement officers

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“If you love the outdoors and nature, this job is for you. “

Lawrence Terlep Jr., the new Island of Hawaii branch chief for the Conservation Resources Division of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources, referred to the duties of a Conservation and Enforcement Officer resources, one of the most sought after public service positions. in state government.

And the DLNR is recruiting more.

Recruitment for new officer candidates will begin December 4 at midnight on the state employment website, jobs.hawaii.gov/careers. Applications will be accepted electronically via the site. The number of applications accepted for each island is limited. Job postings will remain open until January 15, 2022 or upon receipt of the specific number of applications indicated on each job posting, whichever occurs first.

In 2019, during the last recruitment for junior officer positions, the application limits for all islands were reached and the recruitment was closed a few hours after the posting of the vacancies. Interested candidates are urged to submit their application immediately, as these vacancies may be closed at any time.

“Our officers must operate independently in remote areas and fulfill many law enforcement roles, the most important of which, in our professional field, is the protection of our natural, cultural and historical resources,” Terlep said. , whose father was also branch manager of DOCARE Hawaii Island. “So they can spend part of their day on the water, like we have (homework) in the boating community. And the second half of the day, they can find themselves atop Maunakea or Mauna Loa, doing hunting inspections.

The job comes with full police powers and applicants must meet the minimum qualifications and other requirements listed in the job advertisement. These include minimum experience requirements, such as having a valid driver’s license, being law-abiding, being at least 21 years old, and being able to legally own firearms and ammunition. .

Obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent can fulfill one year of the general experience requirement.

Starting salary for a conservation and resource enforcement officer I $ 48,646 per year or $ 23.39 per hour.

Academy training is in Honolulu with on-the-job training to follow. DLNR plans to train 46 officers, with a share going to each county.

“Every island is going to have a good number of officers,” said DLNR spokesman Dan Dennison, who said government officials saw the need to strengthen the ranks of conservation officials.

“I think the pandemic and a lot of things that we’ve seen happen – in terms of abuse in state parks and on beaches and public lands – really grabbed the public’s attention, but it also grabbed the attention of the legislature, ”Dennison said. “We had great support from Representative David Tarnas and Senator (Lorraine) Inouye who both saw the value of… strengthening DOCARE ranks across the state.”

“We appreciate the state legislature and the administration of Governor Ige for supporting DOCARE and recognizing the importance of protecting our natural resources by providing the funding necessary to hire, train and equip new officers,” said the chief. from DOCARE, Jason Redulla.

According to Terlep, DOCARE’s branch on the island of Hawaii is currently understaffed.

“I don’t think I remember a time in my career, which has now lasted for 23 years, when we had enough staff to adequately support this island,” he said. “It’s a big island. We are bigger than all the other islands combined. … So there is a lot of water here and a lot of forest and wilderness – and very few DOCARE agents to cover it all.

“So whenever we can recruit new people, it benefits everyone, including the community. Especially the community.

Email John Burnett at [email protected]

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