Tuesday, June 19, 2007

DLNR Enforcement Receives Emergency Vehicle Status

Summer is here and more folks are camping out at state beaches and parks, hiking on state trails, fishing, and enjoying Hawaii's natural resources. Please be aware of a new law, HB714, that allows Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) conservation enforcement vehicles to mount red and blue lights and to be authorized as emergency vehicles. The bill was introduced by Rep. Mele Carroll (District 13 - Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai, Molokai, Keanae, Wailua, Nahiku, Hana.) Lawmakers believe that the use of the red and blue lights will help deter criminal activity on state lands, and will help the public to identify the DOCARE (Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement) officers as law enforcement personnel who have full police powers.


Anonymous said...

I only found out about this today, October 2nd, 2008. The DOCARE officer's badge is the symbol of his authority, not lights on a vehicle. DOCARE has already changed the color of their uniforms to make people think that they're police officers. Not only that but they want everyone to think that they are the state police. Although they have the powers of police officers, they have that power so that they can enforce the laws that protect our natural resources. If they're not busy enough with enforcing the hunting and fishing laws, maybe they have too many employees. I'm guessing that some of the DOCARE officers will spend their time stopping cars on the road instead of protecting our natural resources. Why do they get new equipment that they don't need to do their job when other state agencies have to do without equipment that they need to do their job? Some agencies aren't even allowed to accept donated equipment and DLNR can purchase brand new equipment. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

Conservation officers should have emergency lighting installed on their vehicles. Not only is it a deterrent while patrolling, it also gives them the ability to pull over vehicles that might be breaking other laws while on State lands. It seems ridiculous to tell a State Law enforcement officer that he cannot take action against a crime that may be occurring in his presence simply because it may not be conservation related. On officer may have reasonable suspicion that a conservation law is being violated in an area but not have probable cause to further the investigation. However, if a suspect vehicle leaves the suspect area with a violation in plane view on his vehicle the officer now has probable cause to stop for that violation and while continuing to gain information regarding the conservation offense. Many time in law enforcement small things like a head light out lead to bigger things upon further investigation. Like illegal game taken that is hidden within the vehicle, etc. As far as the comment about their uniforms being changed to look like police officers...well...DUH...they are police officers, just with a special assignment. I'm glad to see our DOCARE officers are getting the tools they need to do their job. Way to go State of Hawaii