Division of Law Enforcement
How to Become an Environmental Police Officer
Enforcement Powers of an
Environmental Police Officer
(See RIGL § 20-1-8)
EPO'S have the power to enforce all laws, rules, and regulations of this state pertaining to:
In addition, all EPOs are deputized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and U.S. Customs to enforce federal laws respective to each agency within the State.
- Fish, wildlife, and all vertebrates and plants
- Fresh water wetlands, dams, and resources
- Areas and activities subject to the jurisdiction of the Coastal Resource Management Council
- State parks, reservations, management areas, hatcheries, and game preserves, and any law of the state within these areas
- Solid and hazardous waste transportation, storage, and disposal and any law pertaining to such
- Boating safety, water safety, and drowning prevention
- Water and air pollution and open burning
- Trees and forests, forestry, and protection of forests from fire hazards and trespass
- Agriculture, farmland, and pest control
- Assault with a dangerous weapon
- Obstructing officer in the execution of duty
Required Qualifications for Appointment
Knowledge, Skills and Capacities: A thorough knowledge of the proper use and care of firearms; a familiarity with the state's fish and game laws, boating laws, and forestry laws; a familiarity with the life habits and living conditions of fish, game, shellfish, and vegetation common to the state; familiarity with techniques of forest fire prevention and suppression; the ability to enforce state laws and regulations; the ability to deal tactfully with the general public; the capacity to learn to operate inboard and outboard boats on the water's of the state, the capacity to learn to operate all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles, and to learn to operate two-way radios.
Education and Experience
Education: A bachelor's degree in Biology, Natural Resources or related discipline.
Experience: Such as may be gained from employment as a full time environmental police officer trainee or in a position responsible for conservation/natural resource law enforcement with powers of arrest.
Rhode Island motor vehicle operator's license; meet Rhode Island's qualifications to carry weapons used on duty and must maintain such qualification requirements as a condition of employment; must pass the agility performance, the psychological evaluation, and other requirements of the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy.
In addition to attending 10 to 12 days of in-service training annually, EPO's also attend the following:
- Marine Law Enforcement Training- Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, GA
- Advanced Marine Law Enforcement- Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, GA
- National Safe Boating Instructors Training Course- US Coast Guard Training Center, Yorktown, VA
- Living Marine Resource Training- US Coast Guard, Otis Air Force Base
- URI Criminalistic School- State Crime Lab, Kingstown, RI
- Breathalyzer Operator Training- RI Department of Health
- Small Arms Course- Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Ma
- Aerobics Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Testing- Cooper Institute of Aerobics Research, Dallas, TX
- Marine Theft Investigators Training School- International Assoc. of Marine Investigators
- Fish and Wildlife Investigative and Undercover Techniques Training- Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, GA
- FBI Small Arms Instructors Training- FBI Training Center
- Boat Accident Investigation and Advanced Accident Investigation- Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Training Center, Harrisburg, PA
- Wildlife Forensics- Ross Leffler School of Conservation, Harrisburg, PA