(UNDATED) - Indiana Conservation Officers will soon extend their Central Dispatch Center to a 24-hour operation in order to maintain radio contact with Conservation Officers across the state.
The Central Dispatch Center currently operates daily from 7 a.m. to midnight. The 24-hour operation will begin at midnight Oct. 29. Central Dispatch is located at Paynetown State Recreation Area on Monroe Lake near Bloomington.
Maj. Michael Portteus said, "For the first time in the history of the DNR Law Enforcement Division, Indiana Conservation Officers may be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-812-837-9536."
Central Dispatch provides a way for the public, other law enforcement agencies, and DNR properties to gain immediate assistance and response from DNR Law Enforcement. Historically, ICOs were dispatched through district, regional and local law enforcement agencies. In addition to DNR's Central Dispatch, Conservation Officers will continue to monitor and respond to local radio communications.
Conservation Officers work in 10 operational districts and have at least one officer in every county when fully staffed at 214 officers. Their primary duties are to enforce laws pertaining to natural resources, fish and wildlife rules and regulations, boating laws and recreational laws. Primary patrol areas include state properties, state waterways and rural locations.
Communications commander Lt. Bryant Lucas said: "Recent radio technology upgrades and improvements have allowed statewide radio communications from one location to conservation officers."
Central Dispatch also will answer calls to the Turn-In-a-Poacher hotline (1-800-TIP-IDNR).
"The immediate response by a Conservation Officer to tips received on a 24-hour basis will greatly enhance the enforcement efforts of our fish and game violations," said Joe Cales, president of the TIP Advisory Board. "This is a monumental improvement that will benefit all citizens and ethical sportsmen."
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