The DEP Division of Environmental Conservation Police is the principal agency responsible for the enforcement of Connecticut’s fish and game laws and regulations. In 2009, the Environmental Conservation Police Division had eight officers and the Director of Law Enforcement retire. The Division was able to hire six officer trainees in early 2010. These new officers were selected out of hundreds of applicants, and have backgrounds in law enforcement, boating, commercial fishing, and natural resources. In May 2010, Colonel Kyle Overturf assumed command of the division as the new Director of Law Enforcement, and now leads a department of fifty-three officers.
Historically, a Game Warden’s primary focus was enforcing hunting and fishing laws and that remains true to this day. However, the EnCon Police Division is now also responsible for public safety in State Parks and Forests along with the enforcement of commercial fishing, shellfish and boating laws. With the ever increasing Black Bear and Moose populations in Connecticut, EnCon Officers are now regularly responding to complaints regarding these species. Many of these complaints require the animal be tranquilized and relocated by the Division’s Chemical Immobilization Team. This team consists of officers specially trained in the use of tranquilization equipment and techniques. In recent years, EnCon Officers have also been asked to play a large role in the management and enforcement of exotic species in Connecticut. Exotic species include any species of mammal or reptile which is not native to Connecticut.
Through enforcement and education the Environmental Conservation Police Division will continue to provide pubic safety and protect the state’s natural resources. We encourage the citizens of Connecticut to take an active role in this mission by reporting fish and game violations to our 24 hour toll free TIP Hotline at 1-800-842-4357.