Posts tagged: wildlife police
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on Friday announced that Steve Crown, a lieutenant in the (WDFW) Enforcement Program, had been promoted today to serve as the agency's Chief of enforcement.
The selection process has been kept low-key for months.
Crown is replacing Bruce Bjork, who is retiring after 43 years of state service, including 15 as the leader of the WDFW Enforcement Program.
Crown graduated from the University of Idaho and spent 11 years with the Wenatchee Police Department before joining WDFW in 2002. He was selected after a national recruitment and interview process and transitioned into his new role by working alongside Chief Bjork for the past month.
When I requested information about the selection on June 24, Mike Cenci, program deputy chief, responded:
“It is a public process………will provide info today.”
Not hearing back, I contacted Cenci again on July 22 after finding nothing online regarding the national search for a new chief. Here's his reply:
Sorry Rich. I can't find a posting. I know that the agency solicited the Washington Assoc. of Sheriff's and Police Chiefs to conduct a nationwide search. They are down to a finalist, who will face a forum of labor and other agency personnel for a Q&A session. The appointment will occur depending on that outcome. If your interested in the minimum qualifications, I will dig.
I responded with a query for more information regarding the Q&A session Cenci mentioned and names of finalists, and got his final response:
I am not authorized to provide any detail yet, Rich.
Here's the rest of the info from the WDFW media release issued Friday at 4 p.m. as most people were turning their attention to a holiday weekend:
“Steve brings a well-rounded law enforcement background to his new position, as well as a passion for the state's natural resources,” said WDFW Director Phil Anderson. “The Enforcement Program plays a key role in helping the department achieve our mission and meet our legal responsibilities. I am confident Steve will maintain and enhance the consistent and professional approach that has been a hallmark of Chief Bjork's tenure.”
“Bruce Bjork is one of this state's most highly respected law enforcement leaders,” said Crown. “I am honored and excited to lead the Enforcement Program and to build upon his accomplishments.”
Under Bjork's leadership, WDFW made significant investments in cutting-edge law enforcement technology that increased officers' efficiency and improved their ability to apprehend violators. He also helped establish the department as a general authority police agency and was instrumental in the passage of legislation that increased penalties for egregious violations such as spree killing and poaching trophy-class big-game animals.
WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT — Equipped with four-wheel drive vehicles and their knowledge of the woods in rugged terrain, California Fish and Wildlife police were key to cornering Christopher Dorner, the state's most-wanted killer Tuesday.
Wildlife enforcement officers routinely deal with a well-armed clientelle. But this case involved a wild shootout.
PREDATORS — Along with citizen complaints about moose, coyotes and other creatures, Washington Fish and Wildlife police were busy responding to a number of cougar-related issues last week. Here are just a few examples from the weekly Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Spokane Region report:
— A cougar roamed Ione during daylight hours, with no fear of people or passing cars. The responding officer called a houndsman who dispatched the cougar, which was examined. It was extremely thing and appeared to be blind. The carcass is at WSU for necropsy.
—Another cougar was sighted near Tiger. The officer called in houndsmen who chased the cougar away from homes in the area. It appeared to be healthy.
— Two officers responded to a complaint and confirmed a cougar had killed a goat. Again a houndsman was called to assist with killing the cougar.
— A reported wolf attack on livestock guard dogs in Whitman County was more likely the work of a cougar, officers said. But the report was a week after the attacks and evidence was inconclusive
Here's the best one — poachers trying to get their cougar mounted as a trophy.
An officer making a routine check on the books of an area taxidermist's ledger grew suspicious of the entry by a man who brought in a large tom. The cougar had been shot in Columbia County in November. On a hunch, the officer wrote down the name of the hunter and decided to look into the details of his hunt.
He verified the cougar was harvested on the same day the cougar tag was bought. Two officers then contacted the subject and got a load of baloney for a while. The man held to his story that he was just a lucky guy to have bought his cougar tag and then shot a cougar just 20 minutes or so later!
But pretty the officers were chiseling away to the truth. The subject later confessed to killing the cougar before he bought his tag, using his friend’s rifle. The subject later stated his friend was paying for the taxidermy work on the cougar because he wanted the cougar in his house.
The officers smelled more problems.
The dug a little more and were able to learn that the original subject friend who shot the cougar without a tag — and he was from Oregon. So he got the original subject to go by a tag and illegally put it on the dead cougar.
The officers bagged a two-fer by pursuing this case.