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State police vs.Game Commission in Pa

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Posted over 6 years ago

 

Hi everybody I was just looking on some feedback on a certain discussion that I have going on with my school and community. Let me first say that I respect all personnel that hold authority in their positions ex. Police officer's and Game commissioners. Here is the topic that i have to ellaborate on: The Game Commission should not have more jurisdiction than the State Police in the state of Pennsylvania. Can anybody give me some feedback on that statement, rather you agree or maybe don't agree with it. And why? I have a research paper on this and i am allowed to ask people and get their opinion on this and what a better place than here with all these police officers...lol...Thanks a lot everybody. Im looking forward to your responses.

 


Jessica

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jgarman says ...



Hi everybody I was just looking on some feedback on a certain discussion that I have going on with my school and community. Let me first say that I respect all personnel that hold authority in their positions ex. Police officer's and Game commissioners. Here is the topic that i have to ellaborate on: The Game Commission should not have more jurisdiction than the State Police in the state of Pennsylvania. Can anybody give me some feedback on that statement, rather you agree or maybe don't agree with it. And why? I have a research paper on this and i am allowed to ask people and get their opinion on this and what a better place than here with all these police officers...lol...Thanks a lot everybody. Im looking forward to your responses.

 


Jessica



What makes you think that they have more authority?


Pain is weakness leaving the body.

Obstacles are what we see when we take our eyes off the goal.

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Why's a girl from Florida doing a paper on Pa law enforcement???  Did one of the rabbit rangers write you up when you were on vacation??  I know several Pa. Troopers and also a couple of the game commission guys.  What can the game guys do that the trooper's can't?? I'm stumped.

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Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

In NC, Game Commisioners do have more power than state police. They have all the same powers of arrest and do not need warrants to search properties and some buildings, not homes, if there is a chance the area being searched is involved in an investigation. Other than that, the two LEO professions are very similar in power.

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jgarman says ...



Hi everybody I was just looking on some feedback on a certain discussion that I have going on with my school and community. Let me first say that I respect all personnel that hold authority in their positions ex. Police officer's and Game commissioners. Here is the topic that i have to ellaborate on: The Game Commission should not have more jurisdiction than the State Police in the state of Pennsylvania. Can anybody give me some feedback on that statement, rather you agree or maybe don't agree with it. And why? I have a research paper on this and i am allowed to ask people and get their opinion on this and what a better place than here with all these police officers...lol...Thanks a lot everybody. Im looking forward to your responses.

 


Jessica



College students do research on a lot of different States and topics, so I understand your need for information pertaining to "Game Commissions v. States." First, let me advise you, Pa is not the only State in which "Game Commissions" have simpler Law Enforcement authorities as a State Trooper dose. Their job assignments are some what the same, except, a Trooper deals with a lot more highway traffic violations, "Game Commissions" deals with wildlife crimes more often than State Troopers.


game warden: Definition and Much More from Answers.com




However game wardens in some areas have general law enforcement authority which means they can effect arrests for most crimes including traffic, ...
www.answers.com/topic/game-warden - 41k


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In Maryland the Maryland Natural Resources Police (Game Commision) is a full service statewide law enforcement agency. Not only do we enforce fish, game and boating laws/regulations we also enforce any and all other criminal laws from drugs to drunks and everything in between. Just the other day one of our officer was first on the scene and arrested a homicide suspect who had just shot and killed someone with a rifle. We also enforce all motor vehicle laws and even participate in Federal/State traffic safety grants. Additionally we have our own TRT(Tactical Response Team) that routinely is called on to assist the Maryland State Police as the TRT team are the experts in Maryland with respect to woodland tracking and apprehension. Another of our responsibilities is all the law enforcement within Maryland's state parks and the lead agency for Homeland Security on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. While I don't know if it would be accurate to suggest that we have more authority than the State Police we certainly have no less; although long ago I was told that we have more from the aspect that the state police have to request to conduct operations in Baltimore City while we do not. Never having worked for the State Police I don't know if that's an accurate statement from their perspective. Authority aside we also share pay parity with the state police. For years there have been rumors of a merger between the two agencies but whether or not it'll ever happen I don't know. Due to politics I doubt it.

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30Chevy says ...



In Maryland the Maryland Natural Resources Police (Game Commision) is a full service statewide law enforcement agency. Not only do we enforce fish, game and boating laws/regulations we also enforce any and all other criminal laws from drugs to drunks and everything in between. Just the other day one of our officer was first on the scene and arrested a homicide suspect who had just shot and killed someone with a rifle. We also enforce all motor vehicle laws and even participate in Federal/State traffic safety grants. Additionally we have our own TRT(Tactical Response Team) that routinely is called on to assist the Maryland State Police as the TRT team are the experts in Maryland with respect to woodland tracking and apprehension. Another of our responsibilities is all the law enforcement within Maryland's state parks and the lead agency for Homeland Security on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. While I don't know if it would be accurate to suggest that we have more authority than the State Police we certainly have no less; although long ago I was told that we have more from the aspect that the state police have to request to conduct operations in Baltimore City while we do not. Never having worked for the State Police I don't know if that's an accurate statement from their perspective. Authority aside we also share pay parity with the state police. For years there have been rumors of a merger between the two agencies but whether or not it'll ever happen I don't know. Due to politics I doubt it.



Wow!!! Sounds like a Game Commission position is a nice career! What is the education requirements to become a Game Commission? I grew up in Baltimore, Md


Josephine

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Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

 I dont think is is so much that the Game Commission Officers have more authority that the Stae Police but there are some instances where they are authorized to conduct searches beyond what any other Police Agency can do without there being suppression issues. This comes mostly from the fact that the WCO's are dealing with persons that are all armed. Most of the warrant requirements are lessened for vehicles. They still however have to obtain search warrants as we would.


  As far as jurisdiction that includes the area that they have under their control. Obviously the State Police and Game commission have the same jusisdiction and that is statewide. Most in both agencies are split into counties and although they can, dont enforce anything in another county.


  As far as authority, the agencies with the most authority would be city Police. We can enforce any law on the books to include the fish and game laws. We also can enforce and write citations for ordinances where neither the State Police or WCO's can. Obviously our jurisdition is limited to the City but for felonies we can act anywhere as can any of the others.


Lieutenant Steven E. Hamilton Badge #51
Oil City Police Department

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I see that she has not been back to respond or elaborate on anything asked of her. In my state there is no law that I do not enforce. Fish and wildlife have as much authority as I do however there are several areas of law that are not part of their mission therefore they do not respond to them (i.e. rapes, domestics, etc...etc...)


Pain is weakness leaving the body.

Obstacles are what we see when we take our eyes off the goal.

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being from PA i can tell you PA Game Commission officers don't have near the power that they should have.  They cannot do a lot of things other state game commission officer's can.  PA in its infinite wisdom has decided there are 2 completely seperate organizations when it comes to outdoor life.  we have a fish and boat commission, which is self explanatory, and the game commission.  the PA state police pretty much have the full authority within the state.  A lot of times when a game commission officer comes along another violation, they have to contact the police department to prosecute certain portions of it.  In this lovely commonwealth, we all enforce the same law book, but have 5 different ways that it can be done and who and what can do it, ie... fish and boat, game commission, state police, municipal officers, and sheriffs.  if your doing a research paper this is definately the state to do one on and it screwed up system.

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Jophes says ...



In NC, Game Commisioners do have more power than state police. They have all the same powers of arrest and do not need warrants to search properties and some buildings, not homes, if there is a chance the area being searched is involved in an investigation. Other than that, the two LEO professions are very similar in power.



Not quite Jophes, first off, there is no "State Police" in NC. Actually, we don't have "Game Commisioners" either. We DO have the Highway Patrol, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the Wildlife Resources Commision. You're right though, wildlife officers, just like state troopers, have the same powers of arrest. Troopers are sworn as "peace officers" and can cite/arrest for any offense on the books and I believe it's the same for game wardens.  The thing is, we have different responsibilities and focus on different aspects of the law, that's all. Check out NC General Statutes 75A-17, 15A-402(a), 20-188, and 113-137 for more info.


Cowards never try, and the weak die along the way.

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Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

I am an Indiana Conservation Officer and I get this question constantly. 


In Indiana, we are state law enforcement officers.  We enforce all laws of the state of Indiana, and do so frequently while we are pursuing our agency mission, which is to protect natural resources.  We have some federal authority in the areas of fish and game, which allows us to charge some cases in federal court.


Of course, it doesn't hurt when the public (or other police agencies) think you have more authority that you really do.  So I usually just nod and smile.

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Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

I think she may be referring to a recent article that was on PoliceLink about the Pa. Game Commission in which a state senator wanted to strip all conservation officers of their law enforcement authority because the senator's son was arrested by one of them. The article mentioned a few things that may be unique to Pa, although I'm not sure as I don't pretend to know a lot about conservation laws. The article eluded to the fact that game protectors had the authority to go onto private land to investigate illegal hunting activities, check hunting licenses, etc., even if there was no complaint, etc.


I suppose that sort of scenario may be the reason for the initial question.


Is that the case in other states?


Chris Cosgriff
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The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc.

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Ok first things first..............


 PA is not a STATE...................


It is a Commonwealth.........


 Yes there is a difference.......


For so long as one hundred men remain alive, we shall never under any conditions submit to the domination of the English. It is not for glory or riches or honours that we fight, but only for liberty, which no good man will consent to lose but with his life.

The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320

SCREW TIBET FREE SCOTLAND !!!!

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Chris_Cosgriff says ...



I think she may be referring to a recent article that was on PoliceLink about the Pa. Game Commission in which a state senator wanted to strip all conservation officers of their law enforcement authority because the senator's son was arrested by one of them. The article mentioned a few things that may be unique to Pa, although I'm not sure as I don't pretend to know a lot about conservation laws. The article eluded to the fact that game protectors had the authority to go onto private land to investigate illegal hunting activities, check hunting licenses, etc., even if there was no complaint, etc.


I suppose that sort of scenario may be the reason for the initial question.


Is that the case in other states?



Chris,


The "Open Fields Doctrine" allows all law enforcement officers to enter onto private property in the performance of their official duties, as long as that officer does not enter the "curtiledge" (sp?) or the area immediately around persons dwelling or other buildings.  This doctrine does not give us the right to peer into people's bedrooms or outbuildings.  We can, however, enter private property to check hunting and/or fishing licenses without a warrant, which is another reason people think conservation officers have so much authority - the reality is that any law enforcement officer has the same power but they rarely use it. 

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Thanks very much for the explanation. I've learned something today.


Hopefully the original poster will have seen this also, as I think that's probably what she was referring to.


Chris Cosgriff
Executive Director
The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc.

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Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

The open fields doctrine applies to NC as well. I was unaware of that until my neighbor moved in across the street who's a game warden. Nothing better than having a man across the street that knows all the best places to hunt!


Cowards never try, and the weak die along the way.

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yes we are a commonwealth, a screwed up one, but yet a commonwealth..


the article earlier about the conservation officer who cited a senators son is not unique.  i work along with that conservation officer who did that.  he is a great guy and very good at what he does.  the thing with why they wan to strip the CO's of their power is that those guys are not paid!  they are volunteers who go through schooling and such and help the paid guys out during the busy seasons!  ie... buck season.  they are given L/E authority to do what a game warden does.  they can't stop and make dui arrests, other things, they can detain, and call local law enforcement. 

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K9hammer says ...



yes we are a commonwealth, a screwed up one, but yet a commonwealth..


the article earlier about the conservation officer who cited a senators son is not unique.  i work along with that conservation officer who did that.  he is a great guy and very good at what he does.  the thing with why they wan to strip the CO's of their power is that those guys are not paid!  they are volunteers who go through schooling and such and help the paid guys out during the busy seasons!  ie... buck season.  they are given L/E authority to do what a game warden does.  they can't stop and make dui arrests, other things, they can detain, and call local law enforcement. 



Did I understand you correctly?  Conservation officers in Pennsylvainia are unpaid volunteers?  Who are the ones that get paid, and who does boating enforcement in PA?

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Green_Cop says ...



K9hammer says ...



yes we are a commonwealth, a screwed up one, but yet a commonwealth..


the article earlier about the conservation officer who cited a senators son is not unique.  i work along with that conservation officer who did that.  he is a great guy and very good at what he does.  the thing with why they wan to strip the CO's of their power is that those guys are not paid!  they are volunteers who go through schooling and such and help the paid guys out during the busy seasons!  ie... buck season.  they are given L/E authority to do what a game warden does.  they can't stop and make dui arrests, other things, they can detain, and call local law enforcement. 



Did I understand you correctly?  Conservation officers in Pennsylvainia are unpaid volunteers?  Who are the ones that get paid, and who does boating enforcement in PA?



The PA Conservation Officers are the paid ones.  During periods where more people are needed, such as deer season, there are Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officers.  these are the volunteers per say.  They still get benefits and such if something happens, and some other fringe benefits, but a full paycheck is not coming!


As for boating and fish, that is covered by the PA Fish and Boat Commission, an entirely seperate entity!  Welcome to the great Commonwealth of PA!

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30Chevy says ...



In Maryland the Maryland Natural Resources Police (Game Commision) is a full service statewide law enforcement agency. Not only do we enforce fish, game and boating laws/regulations we also enforce any and all other criminal laws from drugs to drunks and everything in between. Just the other day one of our officer was first on the scene and arrested a homicide suspect who had just shot and killed someone with a rifle. We also enforce all motor vehicle laws and even participate in Federal/State traffic safety grants. Additionally we have our own TRT(Tactical Response Team) that routinely is called on to assist the Maryland State Police as the TRT team are the experts in Maryland with respect to woodland tracking and apprehension. Another of our responsibilities is all the law enforcement within Maryland's state parks and the lead agency for Homeland Security on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. While I don't know if it would be accurate to suggest that we have more authority than the State Police we certainly have no less; although long ago I was told that we have more from the aspect that the state police have to request to conduct operations in Baltimore City while we do not. Never having worked for the State Police I don't know if that's an accurate statement from their perspective. Authority aside we also share pay parity with the state police. For years there have been rumors of a merger between the two agencies but whether or not it'll ever happen I don't know. Due to politics I doubt it.


Your correct there ED. But of course your guys used to ride in the city with us!


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Jessica, I have been a Pennsylvania Game Commission officer for 15 years, and would like to answer your question regarding PGC authority vis a vis state police. Game Commission officers DO NOT have more authority than state police; we have the SAME authority. All police officers must abide by the Consitution and court decisions interpreting it. ALL police officers can enter posted land without a warrant, outside of curtilage and buildings; this is called "the open fields" doctrine and has been upheld by the US and PA supreme courts. The only time a Game Commission officer's authority exceeds a municipal officer's authority is when a subject is actually in the act of hunting; under those circumstances a Game officer can ask to see a hunting license, check his firearm, inspect his game bag, etc. The reason for that is hunting is a highly regulated licensed activity requiring certain education, skills, and documentation. Note I said "municipal" police; state police have the same authority to enforce the Game and Widlife code as we do. And yes, Game officers are police officers in Pennsylvania. We attend a residential training academy that lasts 11 months. The PA State Police academy is 6 months. Hope this answers your question.


Mike Doherty


Wildlife Conservation Officer


PA Game Commission

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I'm not currently a LEO and I certainly do not wish to offends any one.


I think CO's, Game Warderns...whatever the title is in the State or Commonwealth...should have full range of power.  Many posts are in the back country areas...at least where I'm at.  I see more Conservation Officer vehicles than I do State, County and Local vehicles.  911 is 911  If CO is there send him until other help arrives.

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Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

I write fish and game, park and all other summons but the State Police can not in New Jersey. They do more highway patrol then anything. Do we have more authority?  Yes, but no we are told not to do certian things. We also do not have the money and or the backing like Troopers do. Either way you look at it we are all the doing the same thing make a living and come home safe each and everyday.


Splash43

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Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

In Texas all of our authority and inspection authority is developed through case law and legislative decisions.  We do have some things that we can do that other agencies don't.  WIth that being said we cannot just up and go search someone's house.  But here we also like other agencies do other things other than game and fish laws.  We here are certified peace officers as well like many of the others of our kind.  But like splash43 said we are all doing the same job just a different patch on our shoulder and we all need to come home safe at the end of the day.

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K9hammer says ...



being from PA i can tell you PA Game Commission officers don't have near the power that they should have.  They cannot do a lot of things other state game commission officer's can.  PA in its infinite wisdom has decided there are 2 completely seperate organizations when it comes to outdoor life.  we have a fish and boat commission, which is self explanatory, and the game commission.  the PA state police pretty much have the full authority within the state.  A lot of times when a game commission officer comes along another violation, they have to contact the police department to prosecute certain portions of it.  In this lovely commonwealth, we all enforce the same law book, but have 5 different ways that it can be done and who and what can do it, ie... fish and boat, game commission, state police, municipal officers, and sheriffs.  if your doing a research paper this is definately the state to do one on and it screwed up system.



I also work in PA as a federal officer and am often caught in the middle of this battle.....  I have worked all over the country and will say this....   K9hammer pretty much summed it up....   In most states Fish and Wildlife usually is ONE department and it usually has total state peace officer status....    PA is definitely behind the times.

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Pennsylvania behind the times .. you got to be kidding me... Most agencies there only want to hire part time officers for less than 13.00 hr with no bennnies...

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

In Washington State, as of about 7 years ago, we have the SAME powers by law as the Washington State Patrol.  In fact the authority statute reads the same.  Where we do have more powers than WSP is that we have Federal Commissions through NOAA Fisheries and the USFWS.  Because of that we can enforce certain specific federal statutes dealing with fish and wildlife crimes.  Otherwise, we are the same.  Now that said, just like WSP has a focus on traffic, we focus on fish, wildlife, and boating safety.  We can handle other crimes as well, but just like a rape I encountered, I called the County Detectives to handle the investigation.  That is their job, just like if they come across a poaching, they call us.  It is about specialization and primary responsibilities.

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bad_LT says ...



Ok first things first..............


 PA is not a STATE...................


It is a Commonwealth.........


 Yes there is a difference.......



EXACTELY!!!

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Comments from a NY Game Warden..................I work for a regulatory agency in the Division of Law Enforcement. Here we are known as Environmental Conservation Officers, we do all the fish and game stuff and environmental quality enforcement. We are police officers, different by definition from "peace officers" All state police agencies are authorized to enforce the laws of New York state with statewide jurisdiction, includes Parks Police, University Police........if your patch has NY State and police on it.


We aren't all Troopers, especially salarywise, but we all have the same authority, and commonly roll on backup for all.


"Quando omni flunkus moritati"