The Use of the Special Search Warrant Team in Wildlife Covert Operations

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Law Enforcement Division has been using covert law enforcement operations since 1981. Due to documented increases in illegal commercialization of fish and wildlife resources in the state, the Commission's administrators restructured the covert unit increasing the number of full-time and part-time officers assigned to perform covert tasks. Renewed covert emphasis resulted in an increase in funding and training for covert officers, concentrating efforts to identify, apprehend, and prosecute violators. From initial planning stages the need developed to create a search warrant team consisting of selected officers from wildlife law enforcement districts around the state. All Arkansas wildlife officers had experienced training in this area. But it was felt that the development of a special unit would result in a more effective and cohesive effort while hopefully creating a corresponding esprit de corps. Unit members were selected based upon their knowledge, experience, and desire to be part of a special team with a very important mission.

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