DNR Consolidates Rangers into Law Enforcement Div.

Many agencies work shoulder to shoulder to keep Georgia safe for all. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

After meeting at Georgia Southern University on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, the board of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources voted to make significant changes to its organizational structure.

Specifically, the DNR has reorganized its Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), effective Monday, July 1, 2013.  Five departments will be consolidated into one — the Law Enforcement Division — which will be separate from the WRD.  The changes will transpire between now and 2018.

lakelanier.com wants to thank the DNR’s Director of Public and Governmental Affairs Lauren M. Curry — based in Atlanta, so you know she is officially official — for helping us sort fact from fear.  She actually offered to put us in contact with Deputy Commissioner Homer Bryson for details.

We settled for a few facts to share with you.

The Bottom Line

The DNR has reorganized its Wildlife Resources Division, effective Monday, July 1, 2013.

Five departments will be consolidated into one — the Law Enforcement Division — between now and 2018.

The 200 or so park rangers currently on staff will continue to patrol the 150+ parks and properties around Georgia.  Roughly 40% of the rangers, however, will no longer have law enforcement powers.  About 120 rangers will continue to have those responsibilities.

DNR has about 100 employees with Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification in five separate divisions.  Each division has different hiring standards, reporting structures, and policies and procedures.

In the words of the DNR:

Consolidation of this core function reduces duplication of services, implements a single chain of command for DNR law enforcement, improves strategic deployment of personnel and patrol effort and reduces liability by standardizing hiring, training, guidance, supervision, policies and procedures.

The DNR says its protection of Georgia’s citizens and property will not suffer from the organizational changes.  “We are not moving away from any commitment to Georgia citizens. Under the new model, LED will remain focused on public safety and resource protection; WRD technicians and biologists can focus on resource management; and our PRHSD team members can focus on park operations.”

Several states — Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Idaho and Montana — have adopted similar organizational structures.

All changes have unexpected consequences.  We hope these decisions will save Georgians money and continue the high level of security we feel from the Law Enforcement Officers of the Department of Natural Resources.

Click Here to Download DNR’s Law Enforcement Division Q&A

About Author

Robert J. Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA.
Robert has two adult daughters, seven practically perfect grandchildren and a zippy Kawasaki. Contact Robert at [email protected].

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