The Use of the Special Response Dive Team in Aquatic Law Enforcement

Law enforcement special response dive teams have been utilized for many reasons in the past such as body recovery, underwater investigations, and evidence recovery. Arkansas's Search and Recovery Dive Team has increased emphasis on the sport of spearfishing in large impoundments of water in response to expansion of the sport's popularity, survey results, violations, and sportsmen contacts. Complaints consisted of taking fish species protected by slot limits, spearfishing activities before season, wasting wildlife (leaving illegally taken fish on the bottom), taking over the legal limit, and spearfishing beyond the legal distance from a dive flag. Past enforcement efforts have been limited to the use of conventional boating patrols and long hours of surveillance, but these efforts are time consuming and labor intensive for the number of sportsmen contacted. The use of the Search and Recovery Dive Team places the officers in the water with the possible violator to inspect and observe the diving activities.

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