Seasonal officers added to local BCCOS ranks
Two seasonal B.C. Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) officers are being added to the East Kootenay, with coming to Cranbrook and another in Invermere, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy announced this afternoon (April 18).
Along with two seasonal First Nations officers for Westbank and Haida Gwaii, six new officers will work until Oct. 15 in the communities of Cranbrook Invermere, Kamloops, Smithers, Squamish, Whistler and Vernon.
“It’s important to have that extra resource for our officers and it’s really good training for those looking for full-time work,” said Greg Kondas, acting deputy chief, noting two seasonal officers were hired last year.
“These are young, inspirational students who have just come out of college, so we want to give them that guidance and put them in an area where they are going to receive that from experienced officers. We get to assess them and they get to assess us.”
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service has 164 full-time officers located in 45 communities throughout the province.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service’s seasonal program dates back to 2005. The program puts additional conservation officers on the ground when necessary and assesses the potential of future conservation officers.
Seasonal officers are typically placed in locations where they can be mentored or where there is a need for an additional officer. They assist with high-priority issues, such as threatened species, protection of mountain caribou and public safety legislation. The officers are also involved with public outreach, education and building relationships with First Nations.
Lead image courtesy Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy