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Posted on Mar 4, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – The life of a conservation resource enforcement officer (CREO), with the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), is largely an outdoors one. CREO’s have a broad range of duties, with a focus on the protection of the natural, historical, and cultural public trust resources of Hawai‘i.

Hundreds of people submitted applications late last year to become conservation officers and this week  many prospective officer candidates successfully cleared the first hurdle during physical agility testing (PAT) held on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, Maui, and Kaua‘i.

“The unique part of DOCARE,” explains Lt. Carlton Helm, “is we work both land and sea, mauka to makai. We need officers who are comfortable in the ocean as well on trails and other undeveloped property under the DLNR’s jurisdiction. We’re a specialized  law enforcement agency with a sharp focus on protecting resources.”

On Wednesday, off a Sand Island beach, O‘ahu testing saw candidates show up for the PAT swim test. In groups of 4-10 people, the candidates needed to swim 100-yards in less than three minutes.

DOCARE is recruiting at least 46 rookie officers statewide, after the State Legislature provided funding for training, salaries, and equipment. When their training is completed, the new officers are expected to bolster DOCARE presence across the state.

The swim test was followed by a PAT hiking test at the Keawaula Section of Ka‘ena Point State Park, on Thursday. Candidates were required to complete a one-mile-long hike in less than 20 minutes.

“The objective of the PAT is, of course, to identify each candidate’s level of fitness and to provide exposure to the occupational environments they’ll be working in,” Helm said.

The officer candidates now move onto the next step in the hiring process, which are extensive in-person interviews, all to be held on O‘ahu, over the next month. At the end of the hiring process, those selected will begin the near yearlong DOCARE Law Enforcement Academy which is held in conjunction with the Criminal Justice Program of Honolulu Community College.

Helm concluded, “Our purpose, our kuleana, our mission, is to protect those very things that make Hawai‘i such a unique and special place, revered the world over. DOCARE officers play a critical role in maintaining and perpetuating our natural and cultural resources and we’re all excited to move closer to having nearly four dozen new officers in the field doing this critical work.”

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)

HD video – PAT for DOCARE candidates web feature (March 4, 2022):

HD video – DOCARE physical agility testing and SOTs (March 2 & 3, 2022):

(shot sheet attached)

Photographs – DOCARE physical agility testing (March 2 & 3, 2022):

Media Contact: 

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

Hawai’i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

[email protected]