Occ. Code 1616700





New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




            Chief Environmental Conservation Officers 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, direct and supervise the activities of regional environmental law enforcement personnel in order to provide law enforcement services meeting local needs and consistent with departmental goals and policies.  In addition, as heads of regional law enforcement programs, these incumbents confer with the heads of other regional environmental programs (e.g., environmental quality, environmental analysis, fish and wildlife) in order to coordinate law enforcement with other environmental programs.




            Chief Environmental Conservation Officers direct environmental law enforcement activities in an assigned two to nine county Region of the State.  They typically command staffs of ten to thirty subordinate Environmental Conservation Officers.  These Chief Officers spend about 70% of their time on administrative duties and 30% on field supervision.


            These positions have Police Officer status (Criminal Procedure Law Section 1.20) and direct regional police organizations which are law enforcement oriented as indicated by the policies of the Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the apprehension and prosecution of violators; by the nature and frequency of law enforcement problems encountered within a Region; and by the scope of the Environmental Conservation Officers in-service training program (1040 hours and a practical traineeship) which substantially exceeds the minimum standards of the Municipal Police Training Council’s Basic Course for Police Officer.


            Chief Environmental Conservation Officers direct the enforcement within a region 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 pesticide, use of detergents containing phosphates, demise of endangered species, improper use of snowmobiles and over harvesting of fish and wildlife.


            These characteristics of Chief Environmental Conservation Officer distinguish it from directors of other law enforcement organizations which are primarily concerned with the enforcement of the Penal Law, the Vehicle and Traffic Law and other laws not directly affecting the natural environment and perform their duties at specific institutions, buildings or small geographic areas.




Directs and supervises environmental law enforcement activities within an assigned Region in order to insure that local law enforcement needs are met in a manner consistent with departmental policy.


·        May perform any of the supervisory tasks normally performed by Supervising Environmental Conservation Officer.  (See Supervising Environmental Conservation Officer Classification Standard, Occ. Code 1616500.)


·        Assigns officers to specific patrols and projects, noting recommendations of the responsible Supervising Environmental Conservation Officer, in order to insure the efficient and effective utilization of staff.


·        Confers with the Regional Director and the heads of other regional environmental programs in order to coordinate law enforcement activities with the overall environmental program in a Region.


·        Analyzes regional law enforcement needs and composes and recommends a regional law enforcement budget to the Department in order to provide information to departmental budget analysis on requirements for maintaining mandated program and service levels.


Promotes compliance with environmental laws and cooperation with departmental programs through tactful relations with the media and concerned publics in order to facilitate regional law enforcement activities.


·        May explain departmental programs and makes newsworthy announcements and disclosures concerning programs and cases to representatives of the press and electronic media in order to convey knowledge of laws, programs and activities to the public.  In making disclosures, takes care not to compromise the rights of suspects or arrested persons.  May represent the Department’s law enforcement program on local talk shows.


·        Attends meetings of large sportsmen’s and civic groups, explains departmental law enforcement programs and answers questions in order to convey knowledge of such programs to the public.


·        Reviews letters to the Department concerning environmental problems and composes tactful responses in order to convey relevant information on law and policy to the writer.


May meet with officials of coordinate or lower organizational rank in federal, local, other states or Canadian governments and discuss plans for local coordination of environmental law enforcement activities in order to minimize gaps and duplication in law enforcement coverage in border areas and in cases where jurisdiction is unclear.


Periodically reviews regional accounts of license sale monies and violations settlement monies in order to insure that all monies are accounted for.


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.




            Positions in this class have the same kinds of contacts with civic groups and individuals as do subordinate Environmental Conservation Officers.  In addition, they attend meetings of the largest sportsmen’s groups and may represent the Department to local media.  These officers also meet and verbally deal with officials of other governmental jurisdictions on matters of mutual concern.


            Within the conservation law enforcement organization, these incumbents attend periodic conferences of the Regional Director’s staff including the regional attorney, the regional engineer, the regional solid waste engineer and the heads of regional Environmental Quality and Environmental Analysis units.  The Chief Environmental Conservation Officer informs these officials of law enforcement activities and problems and the feasibility of proposed law enforcement activities.




            These positions receive technical supervision on law enforcement standards and procedures from the Office of the Director of Environmental Conservation Law Enforcement.  This includes direction on such matters as appropriate levels of law enforcement activity for various provisions of law, Environmental Conservation Officers training and evaluation and overall coordination of relations with the conservation programs in other governmental jurisdictions.  The Chief Environmental Conservation Officer also receives some direction from the Regional Director primarily in connection with the coordination of regional law enforcement activities with other regional environmental programs.


            Chief Environmental Conservation Officers directly supervise from one to three Supervising Environmental Conservation Officers and, through them, subordinate staffs of from ten to thirty Environmental Conservation Officers.  Chief Environmental Conservation Officers assign subordinates to projects and areas of patrol with the advice of the Supervising Environmental Conservation Officer.  They may also assign Supervising Environmental Conservation Officers to serve as Hearing Officers at hunting accident hearings.




            Chief 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 skill in the use of these firearms.




            Chief 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 standard police radio and teletype codes.


·        Good 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 satisfactory service as Supervising 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.