Occ. Code 1616500
SUPERVISING ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION OFFICER, GRADE 18
New York State Department of Civil Service
NATURE OF WORK
Supervising Environmental Conservation Officer positions are located only in the Department of Environmental Conservation and are stationed throughout New York State. Within an assigned Region of the State, these Officers supervise the activities of Environmental Conservation Officers to insure the quality of environmental law enforcement. These positions also prepare correspondence in response to complaints from citizens concerning a wide range of environmental problems in order to inform the public of relevant laws and departmental policies. In addition, these positions may perform any of the activities and tasks regularly assigned to Environmental Conservation Officers.
CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA AND DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS
Supervising Environmental Conservation Officers act as working supervisors of Environmental Conservation Officers. They typically supervise five to fifteen Environmental Conservation Officers assigned over a two to nine county Region or portion of such Region. These Officers spend approximately 40% of their work time on field supervision and administrative tasks and their remaining work time performing law enforcement tasks typical of those performed by Environmental Conservation Officers. In addition, they may serve as seconds in command to Chief Environmental Conservation Officers who direct environmental law enforcement activities in an assigned Region; the Supervising Environmental Conservation Officer may direct regional law enforcement activities in the Chief's absence.
These positions have Police Officer status (Criminal Procedure Law Section 1.20) and work in regional police organizations which are law enforcement oriented as indicated by the nature and frequency of the law enforcement problems they encounter; by the policy of the State and the Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the apprehension and prosecution of violators; and by the scope of the Environmental Conservation Officer in-service Training Program (536 hours classroom training and a practical traineeship) which substantially exceeds the minimum requirements of the Municipal Police Training Council.
Supervising Environmental Conservation Officers supervise the enforcement of laws aimed at controlling or preventing a number of different kinds of spoilage of the natural environment including air pollution, water pollution, the improper disposal of solid waste, use of harmful pesticides, use of detergents containing phosphates, demise of endangered species, improper use of snowmobiles and overharvesting of fish and wildlife.
Because some violations of most aspects of such laws pervade all areas of the State and because enforcement of these laws requires cooperation among officers in different Regions, every Supervising Environmental Conservation Officer must be prepared to perform the full range of environmental law enforcement duties and must possess the full range of knowledges and abilities these duties require. However, at any given time individual officers will be primarily involved in a more limited variety of law enforcement activities reflecting the needs of the particular Region they serve.
These characteristics distinguish Supervising Environmental Conservation Officer from a variety of law enforcement supervisory classes which are primarily involved in the enforcement of the Penal Law and Vehicle and Traffic Law and other laws not directly concerned with the natural environment, and serve at specific institutions, buildings and small geographic areas.
TYPICAL ACTIVITIES, TASKS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Supervises Environmental Conservation Officers in order to insure the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental law enforcement.
§ Accompanies Environmental Conservation Officers on patrol and coaches them on techniques of environmental law enforcement in order to inform them of appropriate techniques.
§ Explains such matters as proper completion of legal documents, fine points of environmental law and identification of species to Environmental Conservation Officers on request.
§ Rates Officers' performances in order to determine areas and extent of sub-standard performance.
§ Counsels Officers whose performances are sub-standard in order to maintain the productivity of the enforcement forces at a high level.
§ Reviews Environmental Conservation Officers' case reports, weekly activity reports and monthly landfill inspection reports to insure that they are complete and correct and to detect irregularities.
§ Recommends to the Chief Environmental Conservation Officer the assignment of individual Officers to specific areas and cases using knowledge of Officers' capabilities, to assist the Chief in efficient and effective utilization of staff.
Recommends to the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation a course of action concerning the status of hunting licenses of hunters involved in hunting accidents in order to expedite the Commissioner's determination in these matters.
§ Presides as Hearing Officer at hearings inquiring into the circumstances of hunting accidents; listens to testimony; questions witnesses, victims and hunters in order to obtain information concerning the shooting incident in question; receives in evidence such materials as sworn statements, State Police incident reports or Environmental Conservation Officer incident reports.
§ Studies the hearing record in order to detect evidence of negligence.
§ Reports findings to Commissioner, in order to inform the Commissioner of these findings.
Promotes compliance with environmental laws and individual responsibility for care of the environment through tactful relations with concerned groups and individuals, in order to facilitate regional law enforcement activities.
§ Explains departmental policy and programs and points of environmental law at meetings of sportsmen and women and civic groups in order to convey an understanding of such law, policy and program.
§ Reviews letters to the Department concerning environmental problems and composes tactful responses in order to convey relevant law and policy to the writer.
Compiles information used in preparation of the Region's annual budget request in order to assist the Chief in procuring needed supplies, equipment and personnel.
§ Inventories equipment in order to determine need for new equipment.
§ Collects and assembles workload data to determine personnel needs.
§ May write brief narrative passages justifying requests for additional funds in order to assist the Chief Environmental Conservation Officer in preparing the Region's formal budget request.
Performs the same tasks and activities assigned Environmental Conservation Officers (see Environmental Conservation Officer classification standard, Occ. Code 1616000).
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
Positions in this class are primarily people oriented and have virtually the same kinds of contact with external publics and individuals as do Environmental Conservation Officers (see Environmental Conservation Officer standard).
Within the conservation law enforcement organization, these incumbents have frequent verbal contact with staff of other units in the Department including the regional engineer's office, regional solid waste engineer's office, regional attorney's office, Environmental Quality Unit, and the Environmental Analysis Unit. The Supervising Environmental Conservation Officer verbally requests the staffs of these units to provide technical investigation and expert consultation services to assist in the conduct of investigations into incidents of environmental law violations.
NATURE OF SUPERVISION
These positions work under the general direction of a Chief Environmental Conservation Officer. Supervising Environmental Conservation Officers receive direction from the Chief on the assignments of Environmental Conservation Officers, with respect to work time, location of patrol and special law enforcement activities such as roadblocks and manhunts. Supervising Environmental Conservation Officers also submit written tabular and/or narrative reports to the Chief concerning the Region's law enforcement activities, expense accounts, work time records and investigations into alleged and suspected violations.
In addition, Chief Environmental Conservation Officers will occasionally tour the areas of patrol assigned to Supervising Environmental Conservation Officers and provide on-site direction of law enforcement activities.
MACHINES, TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT USED
Supervising Environmental Conservation Officers may be required to operate cars, boats and snowmobiles in the patrol of their assigned area. They also operate police radios, walkie-talkies, cameras and may use snowshoes and binoculars.
The Officers regularly bear firearms and are periodically required to demonstrate their ability in the use of these firearms.
UNUSUAL WORKING CONDITIONS
Supervising Environmental Conservation Officers may be required to work long and irregular hours especially during hunting season. Furthermore, they may receive telephone complaints and reports at any time of day or night and may investigate such reports at any time.
These officers may also be required to patrol out of doors in extreme weather conditions.
§ Good knowledge of the Environmental Conservation, Penal and Criminal Procedure Laws and related rules and regulations.
§ Good knowledge of common hunting and fishing implements and practices.
§ Working knowledge of the law enforcement applications of laboratory work performed by the Department's wildlife and pollution laboratories and the State Police crime laboratories.
§ Good knowledge of the gross anatomy of animal wildlife endemic to New York State.
§ Good knowledge of first aid.
§ Good knowledge of standard police communication codes.
§ Working knowledge of practices of supervision.
§ Ability to recognize and identify by common name those species and sexes of animal wildlife protected or otherwise affected by the Environmental Conservation Law.
§ Ability to remain cool and decisive in emergency and stress situations.
§ Ability to stand, walk and drive a motor vehicle for long periods of time.
§ Ability to interpret laws, rules and regulations as they apply to law enforcement situations.
§ Ability to exercise good judgment in law enforcement situations.
§ Ability to relate to and deal with people in law enforcement situations including people who are irate, frightened or menacing.
§ Skill in the use of firearms.
Appointments to this class are made by competitive promotion examination of candidates having one year of service as Environmental Conservation Officer.
NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.