bob_G

Ma Environmental Police

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104 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, z-man said:

The sad part is that many people would love to have an EPO job. Fire them all and start over. 

Several EPOs I've spoken with over the years have absolutely no prior hunting or fishing experience.  They were MPs in the service, and wanted to continue in law enforcement upon leaving the service, and the EP job was all that was available.

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37 mins ago, bob_G said:

Several EPOs I've spoken with over the years have absolutely no prior hunting or fishing experience.  They were MPs in the service, and wanted to continue in law enforcement upon leaving the service, and the EP job was all that was available.

The EPO exam is the only police exam in the state that actually tests on relevant subject matter - hunting, fishing, boating etc. Furthermore, a degree in some sort of environmental science and prior experience is strongly preferred these days. What you described could have been the case years ago, but it’s not the case today. You be hard pressed to find a newer EPO that doesn’t have a strong background in job related subjects, whether that’s hunting/fishing, boat operators, environmental science, etc.
 

Also, I find it hard to believe that EPO jobs were ever all that was available, especially to vets. The civil service system heavily favors vets. Law enforcement in general is difficult to get into (although getting easier thanks to the media and political agendas pushing people out). EPO is a different test, and I’d definitely believe it if it was the first opportunity that they received, so they jumped on it. But I doubt that it was ever all that was available, just based solely on the fact that there are so few of them in the state.

Edited by JTR

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I can tell you guys with near certainty, if you want change, it doesn’t start with regs, or new laws, or more enforcement, etc. It starts with the courts actually handing down fines and penalties. The courts in this state are an absolute joke - and that goes for all crimes, not just hunting and fisheries. They hand out break, after break, after break, after break to people who don’t deserve them. Start demanding change from judges. It all starts there.

Edited by JTR

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10 mins ago, JTR said:

The EPO exam is the only police exam in the state that actually tests on relevant subject matter - hunting, fishing, boating etc. Furthermore, a degree in some sort of environmental science and prior experience is strongly preferred these days. What you described could have been the case years ago, but it’s not the case today. You be hard pressed to find a newer EPO that doesn’t have a strong background in job related subjects, whether that’s hunting/fishing, boat operators, environmental science, etc.
 

Also, I find it hard to believe that EPO jobs were ever all that was available, especially to vets. The civil service system heavily favors vets. Law enforcement in general is difficult to get into (although getting easier thanks to the media and political agendas pushing people out). EPO is a different test, and I’d definitely believe it if it was the first opportunity that they received, so they jumped on it. But I doubt that it was ever all that was available, just based solely on the fact that there are so few of them in the state.

I respectfully disagree.  My ears work pretty good, and I know what I was told from the proverbial horse's mouth. 

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23 mins ago, bob_G said:

I respectfully disagree.  My ears work pretty good, and I know what I was told from the proverbial horse's mouth. 

Respectfully agree to disagree. 
 

Which part of what I said do you disagree with?

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My grandfather was a judge in northern Maine back in the 1920’s and supposedly the  post of “game warden” was usually given to the best poacher in the area. I’d love to think that’s true. :laugh:

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4 hours ago, bob_G said:

Several EPOs I've spoken with over the years have absolutely no prior hunting or fishing experience.  They were MPs in the service, and wanted to continue in law enforcement upon leaving the service, and the EP job was all that was available.

I think I now have even less respect for that department if that’s possible. No one should be an EPO unless they are passionate and knowledgeable about the environment. 
Last winter someone posted a comment about how they were ice fishing and an EPO told them that the white perch they had kept was in violation because it was an undersize largemouth bass. How can you possibly not know what a bass looks like. It’s the most popular fish in America. Ridiculous. 

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On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2021 at 3:24 PM, JTR said:

The issue isn’t the EPOs themselves. I know a half dozen personally and they really care about natural resources. The issue is the state and funding. MA doesn’t care about natural resources and enforcement…. That’s evident by the amount of money they spend on it. If you look at places like Florida and some of the Midwestern states, they dedicate huge amounts of money to enforcement and protecting the resources. MA simply doesn’t.

MA cares more about their politicians and their social "cause du jour" than their citizens, so you can guess where the environment falls in their view...

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Maybe channel 5 investigates would be interested in doing a follow up from the OT abuse  investigation they did last year. That’s why they have no OT . They were claiming for shifts they didn’t work . Kinda like now

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On 8/3/2021 at 5:21 PM, JTR said:

The EPO exam is the only police exam in the state that actually tests on relevant subject matter - hunting, fishing, boating etc. Furthermore, a degree in some sort of environmental science and prior experience is strongly preferred these days. What you described could have been the case years ago, but it’s not the case today. You be hard pressed to find a newer EPO that doesn’t have a strong background in job related subjects, whether that’s hunting/fishing, boat operators, environmental science, etc.
 

Also, I find it hard to believe that EPO jobs were ever all that was available, especially to vets. The civil service system heavily favors vets. Law enforcement in general is difficult to get into (although getting easier thanks to the media and political agendas pushing people out). EPO is a different test, and I’d definitely believe it if it was the first opportunity that they received, so they jumped on it. But I doubt that it was ever all that was available, just based solely on the fact that there are so few of them in the state.

I have no reason to believe that what you say about an exam on "relevant subject matter," but when I was writing the local fishing column, one of the local tackle shops told me of a situation where an EPO boarded a headboat on the Cape and confiscated a fluke caught by a customer, stating it was a winter flounder and the season was closed. Again, I wasn't there, so this is second hand, but I am confident in the honesty of the source.

On another note, one of the problems with the Environmental Police, both staffing and enforcement, is the failure of the state to use local natural resource officers to assist state officers. I was told that it has to do with legal matters and/or proper education and training, but I suspect it has to do with the agency and the union wanting to protect their little piece of the pie. If you think of how many local natural resource officers are out there, it really is a waste not using them to help with enforcement. As it stands now, they have to wait for a state officer is they catch someone poaching or undertaking some other illegal operation to get charges filed. If that is the case, what a crock! For example, in Falmouth, the Harbormasters and Natural Resources offices are part of the police department and can carry sidearms, making them perfect candidates for training and enforcement. 

And as far as judges and penalties go, I have been informed about the need for due process as opposed to being able to simply charge and penalize without a hearing. Given that fact, we need a court dedicated to fisheries, hunting, and boating cases, staffed and run by a judge who believes in the seriousness of such offenses as opposed to thinking that fish and game are beneath his or her dignity. 

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20 hours ago, Sportsmun said:

Maybe channel 5 investigates would be interested in doing a follow up from the OT abuse  investigation they did last year. That’s why they have no OT . They were claiming for shifts they didn’t work . Kinda like now

This is another just straight up false statement, brought on mostly by the news. The issue was that they were splitting shifts without properly documented approval and that overtime wasn’t being documented properly to ensure equitable distribution to officers. The MEP overtime audit was largely about administrative failures to document overtime properly, rather than officers abusing the system. But just like everything else in the country, the media has a way of twisting it to fit the narrative.
 

One of the big “issues” they found was a large number of instances where officers were working more hours than they were allowed to in a day. News flash, when you get a call at the end of a 16 hour day, you can’t just go home. Or when you worked a shift then a detail until 2 am and then someone bangs out of their shift at 8am and you get forced to work, you’re technically over hours, but there’s nothing that can be done to always prevent it. It happens in every law enforcement agency in the state. It’s really not a huge finding, even though the news made it sound like this meant that they were getting paid for hours they didn’t work.

 

I’m not implying that there were not any officers skimming a few hours here and there, but it was by no means a large scale abuse of the system, like the whole Troop E thing.

 

They also do have plenty of OT. What ended for them was the ability to split their shift to accommodate a detail or OT. 

Edited by JTR

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Oh…well …as long as it wasn’t  large scale like the troop E thing. 
Bottom line…
They are doing a terrible job protecting our resources ! I have hunting areas being destroyed by mountain bikers and the striper fishery is being decimated by people that have no respect for our rules and laws and there is nothing we can do about it!  Calling them is a waste they never show up……not once this season have I seen them….not once! I check different areas almost every day and …..not once ! Sooo yes I would like to see them investigated to see what the hell is going on.  

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