Conservation Police Officer
Individuals who are interested in a law enforcement career could easily find themselves migrating into the field of natural resources where exciting opportunities await them as Conservation Police Officers. Once known as Game Wardens, these public safety professionals dedicate their lives to the protection of our natural resources by enforcing laws and regulations that regulate the activities of sportsmen and women who participate in outdoor recreation.
Physical Fitness Programs
Principal Duties and Responsibilities
Work activities are as varied as the day of the week or season of the year. Although officers have full police authority with statewide jurisdiction, Conservation Police Officers (CPO) primarily enforce the fish, wildlife and boating laws while patrolling their areas of assignment using 4x4 police vehicles, boats of all sizes, mountain bikes, and ATVs.
In the course of this patrol, the officer detects violations of law, apprehends and arrests violators, conducts investigations, prepares cases for trial and ultimately presents findings and evidence in court. Accordingly, reports are written and records are kept in a manner reflecting the professionalism of sworn personnel.
In addition, the CPO is the front-line employee and as such, must be able to address the concerns of landowners and other constituents in a multitude of areas relative to the mission of the agency.
A successful CPO is also active in various educational programs to promote safety and outdoor education. All officers are active in state-mandated Hunter Education and boater education programs, which educate youth and adults in the wise and ethical stewardship of our natural resources, as well as safe boating.
As expected, officers will maintain their issued equipment in a state of operational readiness, to be utilized whenever and wherever needed. Equally as important and vital to the success of a CPO is the ability to develop effective relationships within the community to ensure that the mission of the agency is accomplished.
Applicants for the position of Conservation Police Officer must possess a high-school diploma or GED equivalent and be at least 21 years of age by the date of hire. Experience that provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities is essential. Additionally, applicants must have a safe driving history and possess or be eligible for a valid Virginia driver's license.
Medical (including hearing and vision testing), psychological and polygraph examinations will be conducted as part of the selection process. Successful applicants will also undergo a background investigation that will include educational achievements, prior work experience, character and reputation, credit history and a criminal history check.
Additionally, candidates must be willing to:
- travel to complete testing and screening at your own expense
- complete a swimming and physical agility assessment during the academy
- maintain a primary residence within the area of assignment
- work days, nights, weekends and holidays
- travel overnight as assigned
After attending the 26-week Basic Law Enforcement Academy, newly sworn officers will undergo a 15-week field training program under the direction of a Field Training Officer. Only after this extensive training does the new officer earn the title of Virginia Conservation Police Officer.
- Paid Holidays
- Paid Vacation
- Paid Life Insurance
- Paid Health Insurance
- Sick Leave
- Short-term Disability
- VaLORS Retirement Plan
- Deferred Compensation Plan (optional)
- Uniforms, Training and Equipment Provided
A career as a Conservation Police Officer provides many opportunities to perform interesting and rewarding work. There are challenges, however, and the Department wants you to be fully aware of some possibilities at the beginning of the selection process. Please be sure you are willing to:
- work weekends and holidays
- spend hours outdoors in all types of weather
- enter remote areas alone and confront, question and/or arrest armed persons who may be larger and stronger than you
- maintain your professionalism in the face of verbal abuse
- investigate fatal hunting and boating incidents
- take the life of a human being if needed in self-defense or the defense of another
- successfully complete rigorous physical and academic training