Research Needs Of Law Enforcement—Some Suggestions

Gentlemen, I am pleased to have been invited by Chief Tucker Brown to address this group of professionals who comprise an important part of the state game and fish agencies of the several southeastern states. Since I choose to present this paper subjectively, rather than in the traditional form of the scientific paper, perhaps I should offer some credentials At present, I am a university professor of biology. Most of my time is spcnt supervising graduate studics relating to fisheries and game biology. I have also earned my living as a research game biologist and as a research fishery biologist in different southern states, and have had game and fish law enforcement duties. An important part of my formal education in wildlife conservation was received at a mid'western university. My chief interest has been and continues to be the preservation of public hunting and fishing, in part for the selfish reason that hunting and fishing has been a way of life for me for over 45 years. Therefore. what I have to say to you will be from the viewpoint of an outdoorsman; a hunter and fisherman who is professionally educated in thc technology of animal population dynamics and who has been afield in the southern states often enough to be aware of some of the problems of conscrvation law enforcement. The term, "research" has many connotations, and implies different things to different people. In its more sophisticated form, it implies a series of accurate measurements made on some variahlc in a svstem while the other variables arc held constant. Inferences are then drawn, based upon the logic of mathematics, and some conclusion is reached. Research is often conducted to attempt to find facts that can be used to solve prohlems. Before research can he properly conducted, the problem must he defined as accurately as is possible, and this can be extremely difficult. One thing that scientific research ahsolutely demands is that bias. whether human or instrumental, he either measured or eliminated. Since wildlife conservation generally. and its law enforcement in particular, is largely influenced hy a myriad of unmeasurahle human biases. I think that a more realistic term to apply to the needs of law enforcement is "re-evaluation".

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