WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

December 05, 2002
Contact: Lt. Dennis Nicks, (360) 902-2928

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Citizens invited to call with comments on WDFW enforcement program

OLYMPIA Citizens with views on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) Enforcement Program are invited to phone in their comments during a special call-in session Dec. 15.

The comment opportunity is being held as part of the department's assessment for recognition by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), a national accreditation agency for law enforcement.

Those with comments on the Enforcement Program should phone (360) 902-2862 during the call-in period, which runs from 1 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 15.

Taking the calls will be John V. Garavaglia, deputy chief of the Glendale (Colo.) Police Department. Garavaglia is conducting the over-all assessment of WDFW's Enforcement Program in a three-day visit here later this month.

His visit caps a three-year effort by WDFW to achieve CALEA recognition. If successful, WDFW would be one of only two fish and wildlife agencies in the nation to gain the recognition. Overall, about a dozen other Washington law enforcement organizations, and about 10 percent of law enforcement agencies nationwide, have CALEA accreditation.

As part of its CALEA recognition effort, the WDFW Enforcement Program has revamped its policies and operating procedures to meet CALEA standards in 97 areas.

The department should hear in about a month if it has been awarded CALEA recognition, said Lt. Dennis Nicks, who is coordinating the on-going recognition effort.

"Gaining CALEA recognition assures that a law enforcement organization is operated to high police standards in all aspects of its operations, including handling of complaints, investigative procedures, evidence handling, records management and communications," Nicks said.

The WDFW Enforcement Program consists of some 180 staff members, including more than 160 commissioned officers.