Losing CPOs to state budget mess would be a strike against sportsmen
Most of us have had some level of interaction, whether it be directly or indirectly, with a Conservation Police Officer. Probably for the majority of us, those interactions have been limited to a quick check of licenses, permits, and registrations. However, much of the public is unaware that compliance checks are only a miniscule segment on a much larger scale. For CPOs, there is no such thing as an off season.
In an upcoming issue of Illinois Outdoor News, I will go over some of the tasks and incidents that are handled by Illinois CPOs.
Enforcing laws regarding all aspects of wildlife, conservation, hunter ethics, safety codes, etc., are a mere portion of the duties that our CPOs carry out on a 24-7-365 basis. To lose any of them to political games would come at a huge cost to all of us. It's devastating to me that some Illinois' politicians can't see the forest for the trees, or worse, are choosing not to.
What's my point? What's the big deal? After all, the CPOs involved in these situations were just doing their job, right? Well, I suppose a simple question deserves a simple answer; Yes, they were in fact "just doing their job." And that friends, is my point.
I'm encouraging you to call your State Representative and the Governor's office to let them know that you do not support any CPO cutbacks, including those of the 13 new recruits who haven't even been allowed to complete their field training. Insist that if CPO jobs are lost, it will negatively impact not just Illinois' wildlife, but public safety as well.