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Thread: Georgia DNR

  1. #1
    Forum Member mbarden's Avatar
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    Georgia DNR

    What can anyone tell me about Georgia DNR? What is the job like? What are the hours like? 8's, 10's, 12's? What are the chances of being in the area where you live as opposed to being relocated across the state? Do they move you around in your career like the military does? Is it highly competitive or are they looking for people? What are the powers of the job? Are they relegated only to state parks or can DNR officers enforce state laws anywhere in the state like state troopers? Does anyone know about the counter terrorism task force and how you become a part of it? Also, do you have to be an expert in hunting, animals etc to get hired? I grew up in the outdoors and have some hunting experience but am certainly no expert on it, I just love the outdoors and being out in environment. Thanks!

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    Forum Member mbarden's Avatar
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    Also, can DNR officers carry their duty weapon when off duty like most departments can and still act as an off duty LEO?

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    Game Wardens, or Conservation Rangers, are classified under the "Peace Officer" category which includes Troopers, GBI Agents, and any other POST Certified officer. This means they have the same powers as everyone else except they mainly enforce hunting, gaming laws. My local game warden told me that he often stops people he sees littering on the roadside.
    Anyways, chances of you being assigned to an area of your choice is pretty high. This is because their staff numbers are way down... They don't work regular shifts of any kind. I think a Ranger on here said that they are required to work a certain number of hours but can choose when to work them. Of course, they're expected to work during the busiest hunting times (weekends, holidays, etc)
    Their pay is really low. You start out at about $32k and it barely increases over time. I know a Ranger that has worked at least 10 years and is only making about $40k.
    You get a lot of freedom with the DNR. With the staff shortage, each Ranger is assigned a few counties so you've got a lot of area to ramble on.

    Overall, if you enjoy being outdoors and don't mind working alone with little or no back-up, DNR might suit you. But keep in mind, most actual law enforcement departments will get a lot more action than you'll see as a Ranger.
    Hope this helps....

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    Fairly long............

    Freeze, let me make one thing clear, WE ARE AN ACTUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. We could, can, would, and will lock anyone up and charge anyone with any state law violation that we encounter. It makes me mad when people think that we aren't "real" police. Violate in front of us and find out.

    Anyway mbarden, I love what I do. If you like freedom, the outdoors, and are self motivated then you could be a game warden (politically correct Conservation Ranger.)

    I could write forever about my job as a game warden. Freeze is correct in the fact that we do start out low on pay as compared to most of our local agencies, especially around metro ATL.

    RIght now there are several different aspects of law enforcement in DNR. There is the state parks system(with whom I worked with for 6 years), Evironmental Protection has a few LEOs. Coastal Resources has one LEO. The majaority of DNR LEOs are in the Wildlife Resources Division, which is divided into three sections, Game Management, Fisheries Management, and Law Enforcement.

    Game management LEOs are assigned to the wildlife management areas and normally spend alot of time working other things than LE.

    Fisheries management LEOs work on our public fishing area which are similar to out wildlife management areas but most are extremely like our state parks.

    Then you have the Law Enforcement section. We are Deputy Federal USFWS agents, therefore we can enforce a limited number of federal wiildlife laws unless we are on federal property then we can charge violators in federal court. About our hours, we pretty much work when we want too. There are times shen the Sgt or Capt will tell us when we need to work but normally that is only for training and region meetings. We all know there are times when we need to work such as opening days of hunting seasons, we know that we are required to be out.

    Our job also changes throughout the year. We don't chase tailights all the time, and don't have to solve other peoples problems unless we want to by assisting GSP, GBI or our local sheriff's office and PD. We go from dove and deer season starting in Sept through December. January and February are fairly slow, normally working small game hunting and waterfowl hunting. Turkey season starts in March and runs into May. Keep in mind that during these seasons, fishing is always on-going. When it begins to get warm, people go to the lakes and rivers for recreational boating which we do all summer long. Then is is back to hunting season. So as you can see things change we normally don't do the same thing two days in a row.

    As for us not getting in to as much as an ACTUAL law enforcement agency, I disagree. There are places in the state where the rangers only concentrate on FFF (Fur Fins and Feathers), and that is obviously where freeze is from, but where I work we are constantly catching people with dope, serving search warrants, and most of us are fairly sneaky. We are extremely diversified. When there is a disaster of great magnitude, we are the ones called upon because we have the equipment ATVs, boats, and when it comes to the woods, well I don't need to explain.

    As for the competetiveness, it is easier now to get hired on than it was 10-12 years ago. One of the main reasons I think it is like that is because we require an Associates Degree ot equivalent hours and our starting pay is lower than most other degree requiring jobs. You don't have to be an expert in hunting or outdoors but knowledge does help. As a ranger you will learn a lot during training.

    As far as our powers, check out this:

    27-1-18. Powers of conservation rangers generally


    (a) Conservation rangers shall have the power and authority:

    (1) To enforce all state laws on all property owned or controlled by the department;

    (2) To enforce all state laws pertaining to functions assigned to the department;

    (3) To enforce any state law when the violation of that law is committed in conjunction with a violation of a state law pertaining to functions assigned to the department;

    (4) To enforce any state law when ordered to do so by the Governor or to protect any life or property when the circumstances demand action; and

    (5) At the expense of the department, to assist the Department of Public Safety and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in carrying out their duties and responsibilities when requested to do so by the Department of Public Safety or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

    (b) The commissioner may, and in the case of a request by the Governor shall, authorize and direct the department's conservation rangers to cooperate with and render assistance to any law enforcement agency of this state or any municipality, county, or other political subdivision thereof in any criminal case, in the prevention or detection of violations of any law, or in the apprehension or arrest of persons who violate the criminal laws of this state, any other state, or the United States, upon a request by the governing authority or chief law enforcement officer of any municipality, the sheriff of any county, a judge of the superior court of any county, or the Governor.

    HISTORY: Ga. L. 1973, p. 1483, § 3; Code 1933, § 45-118, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 11; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 27; Ga. L. 1990, p. 376, § 1.


    27-1-19. Power of conservation rangers and deputy conservation rangers to arrest persons; procedure upon failure of person arrested to appear to answer charges


    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, conservation rangers and deputy conservation rangers, when authorized to do so by the board, may arrest persons accused of violating any law or regulation which such officers are empowered to enforce by the issuance of a citation, provided that the offense is committed in the presence of the officer or information concerning the offense constituting a basis for arrest was received by the arresting officer from a law enforcement officer observing the offense being committed. The arresting officer may issue to the person a citation which shall enumerate the specific charges against the person and the date upon which the person is to appear and answer the charges. Whenever an arrest is made by the arresting officer on the basis of information received from another law enforcement officer observing the offense being committed, the citation shall list the name of each officer, and each must be present when the charges against the offender are heard.

    (b) If the person charged shall fail to appear as specified in the citation, the judge having jurisdiction of the offense may issue a warrant ordering the apprehension of the person and commanding that he be brought before the court to answer the charge contained within the citation and the charge of his failure to appear as required. The person shall then be allowed to make a reasonable bond to appear on a given date before the court.

    HISTORY: Ga. L. 1976, p. 522, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-119, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.

    27-1-20. Additional powers of conservation rangers; functions of other agencies assigned to department


    (a) In addition to the powers enumerated in Code Sections 27-1-18 and 27-1-19, conservation rangers shall have all the powers previously vested in any other law enforcement officers within the department including, but not limited to, the following:

    (1) To enforce all laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to wildlife and to boating safety and as otherwise provided;

    (2) To execute all warrants and search warrants for the violation of the laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to wildlife or to boating safety;

    (3) To serve subpoenas issued for the examination, investigation, and trial of all offenses against the laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to wildlife or to boating safety;

    (4) To arrest without warrant any person found violating any of the laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to wildlife or to hunting, fishing, or boating;

    (5) To seize and take possession of all wildlife or parts thereof taken, caught, killed, captured, possessed, or controlled or which have been shipped or are about to be shipped at any time and in any manner or for any purpose contrary to the laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to wildlife;

    (6) To go upon property outside of buildings, posted or otherwise, in the performance of their duties;

    (7) To carry firearms while performing duties pertaining to wildlife;

    (8) To seize as evidence, without warrant, any device other than a boat, vehicle, or aircraft when they have cause to believe that its possession or use is in violation of any of the provisions of the laws or regulations dealing with wildlife. For the purposes of this Code section, "device" includes any light, hunting apparatus, or fishing or netting gear or tackle;

    (9) To enter and inspect any commercial cold storage warehouse, ice house, locker plant, butcher shop, or other plant or building for the purpose of determining whether wildlife is being kept or stored therein in violation of the wildlife laws or regulations; and

    (10) To exercise the full authority of peace officers while in the performance of their duties.

    (b) Unless inconsistent with this title, whenever any statute pertaining to an agency whose functions are assigned to the department refers to law enforcement personnel of that agency, that reference applies to conservation rangers.

    HISTORY: Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 4; Ga. L. 1912, p. 113, § 1; Ga. L. 1931, p. 173, §§ 1-3; Code 1933, §§ 45-108, 45-126; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 18; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 6; Ga. L. 1970, p. 466, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 1483, § 4; Code 1933, § 45-120, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.


    As for the CTTF, it is unit that people voluneer for.

    Sorry for htis being so long I kind of got carried away but if you want more, PM and I'll get beck to you.


    Happy Huntin!!!!!!!!

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    DNR, When I said actual law enforcement department, I was refering to a PD or Sheriff's Office where you have patrol and is a general "first-responding agency".
    I realize that you guys have the same arrest powers as everyone else. That is the very first thing I stated on my previous post.
    I have a lot of respect for my local wardens. They have dangerous jobs and they play an important part in the whole law enforcement spectrum. However, I still feel that the local PD guys are given the most 'vital' role.

    And as far as making you mad.... I wasn't trying to press any of your buttons, but oh well....

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    Not mad

    at you Freeze. If you know your local ranger well he or she can tell you we get given h@#$ all the time about not be "real" LEOs. You didn't make me mad or push any buttons. No harm done.


    You are correct local PD's do play a vital role. As a matter of fact I work part-time with my local PD and worked 2 years with my local SO, and I know in that capacity we are the front line responders.

    I also think that us rangers play a vital role also for our natural resources as well as protecting the citizens of this great state.

    Take care and Be Careful.


    Happy Huntin!!!!!!!!

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    I C U b4 U C Me
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    Gadnr130

    Is it true that due to a recent cut in the budget, that DNRs are having to limit patrolling due to a limited amount of gas to use per month?

    I heard this "rumor" several months ago. I was told that a ranger is only allowed approx. $300 a month for gas which is to include his/her vehicle and atv/boat. If that gas allowance is spent all on the use of the vehicle, then no gas can be purchased for the atv/boat and vice versa. With that said the ranger would be limited in patrolling for not wanting to use their gas allowance before thier next allowance comes in.

    Any truth to that?

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    It is true.

    You hit the nail on the head. actually your $300 is hgh, we are at $255 per month. It does limit our patrolling a little, we are spenfing more time foot patrolling rather than patrolling in the truck.

    It make you run a tight ship when you are limited on the amount of gas you can burn, but this isn't the first time we have done this and unfortunately probably won't be the last.
    Happy Huntin!!!!!!!!

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    Could anyone give me some information specifically about the Counter Terrorism Task Force?

  10. #10
    Waingro...where is he? Narco's Avatar
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    start a new thread if that's what you want to know...don't jack the DNR's topics
    Perseverate In Pugna

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    I have read that the DNR has a counter Terrorism Task Force similar to the one that the original poster asked about. That is what I was wanting information about. Why would I even post it here if it wasn't related?

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    Forum Member gapd01's Avatar
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    I believe each Conservation Ranger must successfully complete 18 weeks of mandate law enforcement training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, Georgia. Upon completion of this training, the applicant will become both a Conservation Ranger and a certified Peace Officer.

    I've been there for several course's it looks like an intense academy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danimal_83 View Post
    Could anyone give me some information specifically about the Counter Terrorism Task Force?
    You probably won't get much information about this unit.

    It consists of GBI, DNR and GSP.

    Not much other info available.
    Happy Huntin!!!!!!!!

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    Is the DNR academy as strict as GSP, or more like the normal academy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bravo1 View Post
    Is the DNR academy as strict as GSP, or more like the normal academy?
    I'm not sure they both hold there training at the same location, Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, Georgia. That's a full time academy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bravo1 View Post
    Is the DNR academy as strict as GSP, or more like the normal academy?
    Not quite as strict as GSP but they are a lot stricter now than b efore. We just had a new Captain take over the academy last year.

    Our academy just does what it needs to to keep all on the samw page.
    Happy Huntin!!!!!!!!

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    Forum Member steeliv's Avatar
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    I know it's been a while since anyone posted on this thread, but it's the only I could find about DNR Conservation Rangers. I submitted an online application when I saw the job posting on the state jobs website, and apparently they have testing for this job the first and third Tuesday of every month in Atlanta. I'm going to drive over there next week and I was wondering if anyone could tell me what to expect? Also how the hiring process might work? Any info would be great.

  18. #18
    Civillian jannino's Avatar
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    There's still an active GA DNR on this board... I'm sure he'll be here shortly to help you out.

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    As with most all state agencies, I can't imagine DNR having a class anytime soon....
    I haven't talked to the Colonel about it specifically, but my copy of the PROPOSED State budget doesn't seem to have any new classes...but of course, the budget isn't passed yet....

    As far as some of the other posts on here, over the past 17 years I have been Sheriff, DNR rangers have worked with me, backed us up, hunted fugitives, scoured vast areas looking for lost persons, and tornado victims, recovered bodies more than once from lakes and rivers, and have always been the first state agency to arrive when I needed help....
    I appreciate my Rangers.....I would hate to have to do without them

  20. #20
    Forum Member wmflyfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeliv View Post
    I know it's been a while since anyone posted on this thread, but it's the only I could find about DNR Conservation Rangers. I submitted an online application when I saw the job posting on the state jobs website, and apparently they have testing for this job the first and third Tuesday of every month in Atlanta. I'm going to drive over there next week and I was wondering if anyone could tell me what to expect? Also how the hiring process might work? Any info would be great.
    To answer a few questions. I'm a GA DNR Ranger currently going through the Academy. I'm not familiar with this testing that you mention. The application/interview process is just like any other situation. If you are interested in a position then just wait til it's available on the state outlook. Submit your application and then wait for the call. Once and if you are selected (after an interview) THEN you will have to take a polygraph in forsyth along with all the other mumbo jumbo that goes along with it. FYI I was told in Sept that I was chosen for the job. I didn't actually start until Dec the 16th! You have to be patient! I could be wrong about testing but it's something that I'm not aware of.

    Regarding the academy... I'm with the State Parks division and they sent all the new hires (about 4 of us) to regional academies this year due to the budget. It has been a wonderful experience so far. They normally hold the DNR academy at forsyth (GSP facility) and it's 17 or 18 weeks long (10 weeks POST and 7-8 DNR specific). The academy that I'm currently in is 10 weeks. I might have to return next year to finish the 7-8 week DNR portion if they decide to hold it in forsyth.

    GADNR mentioned above that it was easier now to get a job with DNR. I haven't been with them long (almost 2 yrs) but everything that I've heard states that it's harder now. Divisions can be more choosy due to the higher number of applicants. This allows them to tailor a candidate to their needs. There were 26 interviews for the one position that I recently acquired.

    Starting pay is slightly higher with rangers in the Wildlife Resources Division. They started me at roughly $23k. WRD rangers typically make $5k more for the same position. My duties are quite different from theirs though. I work for a park so I'm limited to the land I patrol (5800 acres). I don't have to worry about private land, counties, or anything. Our job (in the parks division) is very versatile. One minute I could be checking fishing license and the next I could be guiding a hike.

    I thoroughly enjoy working for the DNR. If it's a passion of yours then go for it. You will succeed if your serious about it. Be sure to keep an eye on the outlook over then next few years. A ton of jobs will be opening due to people retiring. Please let me know if you have any questions and hope this helps!

  21. #21
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    I just recently learned an interesting fact about DNR arrest powers. The Ga. Supreme Court ruled in 1976 in a case called Howell v. THE State that it is unconstitutional for the DNR to make criminal arrests on violations of their rules or regulations. The reason for this is because those rules or regulations weren't written into law & passed by the General Assembly through the legal legislative process.

    The court ruled that the DNR is a member of the Executive Branch of Government and the only branch with law making authority is the Legislative Branch. The only arrest that a DNR LEO can make in reference to a violation of a rule or regulation of the DNR are civil citations. That means they issue you a ticket for the violation.....not a physical arrest for a criminal charge.

    Of course, they can still arrest you for any violation of any law in the Ga. criminal code book just like any other LEO can......but any violation of a DNR rule or regulation is a civil infraction....not a criminal one.

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