CO officer is on the way

Minister of Environment Mary Polak reassures North Islanders that a conservation officer will soon be in Port McNeill.

Dear editor,

I want to reassure the communities on the North Island that the Conservation Officer Service continues to provide the highest level of public safety and natural resource law enforcement service possible.

A new conservation officer was hired for the Port McNeill area in December 2013 and is currently being trained out of the Black Creek office. The officer’s family has purchased a residence in Port McNeill and the officer will be permanently posted on active duty in the community April 1, 2014.

This hiring followed a vacancy created in November 2013. Since then, the Port McNeill area has been served by conservation officers out of the Black Creek office. Winter months typically see a reduced number of human-wildlife conflict complaints, and with flexible schedules these officers were able to meet coverage demands throughout the entire zone.

The Black Creek office has more than twice the call volume and serves a much larger population base than the Port McNeill office. Since April 2012, 635 calls were received by the COS call centre in the Port McNeill area, compared to 2,061 calls in the Black Creek area.

As with previous protocol, this new conservation officer will be supported and supplemented as required by officers from the Black Creek office, as well as other public safety and natural resource protection partners in the area. The North Island zone consists of four conservation officers and one sergeant.

Mary Polak

Minister of Environment