DEC announces 2022 training academies for officer and ranger recruits

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A forest ranger silhouetted against the sunset. (Brian Mann / Unsplash)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the 2022 training academies for recruits.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced these academies specifically for new classes of Environmental Conservation Police Officer and Forest Ranger recruits statewide.

According to Commissioner Seggos, these six-month training academies will begin in May 2022 and will prepare up to 60 of the Department’s newest recruits for careers protecting New York’s natural resources in the Divisions of Forest Protection and Law Enforcement.

“DEC’s Forest Rangers and ECOs serve on the frontlines protecting New York’s environment, natural resources, and our communities and I am thrilled to announce these new academies as we continue our efforts to cultivate the next generation of our police forces,” stated Commissioner Seggos. “Since 2015, I’ve worked hard to bolster ECO and Forest Ranger staffing levels, holding back-to-back academies in 2016 and 2017, and graduating our most recent class of recruits in 2019. With these new academies, we will ensure our forces are able to meet the challenges of tomorrow and continue the historic conservation legacy of these Divisions.”

The DEC confirmed that in 2022, the Environmental Conservation Police Officer training will be held at the Pulaski Academy, which has hosted these training for the last several academies.

Additionally, for the first time, Forest Ranger training will be held at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry campus in the hamlet of Wanakena, in St. Lawrence County.

ECO training will focus on the job duties centered on the 71 chapters of New York State Environmental Conservation Law. This ranges from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and emissions violations. In 2020, ECOs and Investigators across the state responded to 29,673 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 11,952 tickets or arrests.

Forest Ranger training focuses on duties that prioritize use of DEC- administered State Lands and easements. This can ranger from patrolling State properties to conducting search and rescue operations to fighting wildland fires. In 2020, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 492 search and rescue missions, extinguished 192 wildfires, participated in eight prescribed fires that served to rejuvenate more than 203 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 3,131 tickets or arrests.

The recruits in this newest class will be selected from an eligible list of qualifications and passing scores generated from the most recent Civil Service exam, which became active in April of 2020. 

The recruits in this newest class will be selected from an eligible list of qualifications and passing scores generated from the most recent Civil Service exam, which became active in April of 2020. 

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