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Posted on Dec 27, 2019 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – For many years, officers of the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) have worn blue uniforms, which in some cases made it difficult for people to tell them apart from county police officers. Beginning next year, DOCARE officers have a complement of new uniforms that better reflect their duties and responsibilities protecting and enforcing Hawai‘i’s natural and cultural resource laws.

“DOCARE was formed 40 years ago at a time when five different DLNR divisions had their own law enforcement officers,” recalled DOCARE Enforcement Chief Jason Redulla. Only one of those divisions, Fish & Game & Forestry (now the Division of Forestry and Wildlife or DOFAW) had officers statewide. Today’s DOCARE is a statewide law enforcement organization with more than 100 certified officers who have full police powers, in addition to their duties to enforce an immense set of resource laws, rules, and regulations on land and in the ocean.

All versions of the new uniform include green BDU (Battle Dress Uniform), cargo-style pants. In the field, officers will wear tan polo shirts, with a subdued emblem patch on one shoulder (incorporating the State seal), and “Conservation Police-Dept. of Land and Natural Resources,” stamped on the back. For formal occasions, like ceremonies or court appearances, officers now have a button-down, long-sleeve shirt with a black tie and a short-sleeve shirt with epaulettes, but no necktie. Both the long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts have colored DOCARE patches on their shoulders.

Redulla said, “Colors, that blend with the natural environment tend to be the standard for conservation police in most U.S. states, so this is the reason we decided on green pants and tan shirts.”

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case commented, “As DOCARE continues to improve its capacity and professionalism, as a law enforcement organization, I believe these new uniforms will set them apart from the other dedicated men and women working in municipal or other state law enforcement agencies. We want people to be able to easily spot DOCARE officers and approach them if they need help, to ask questions, or to report resource and/or cultural violations. During combined law enforcement operations, we think it’s important that people can readily distinguish a DOCARE officer from an HPD officer, for example.”

DOCARE maintains a statewide reporting hotline as well as a free reporting application for people to report violations. The hotline from any island is 643-DLNR (3567). The free, downloadable DLNRTip app can be found on iTunes or Google Play.