Supersedes 232 FW 2, FWM 169, 01/23/95
Date: November 22, 2005, as amended by Director’s Order 205, August 6, 2012
Amended by Decision Memorandum, “Approval of Revisions to ~350 Directives to Remove Gender-Specific Pronouns,” 6/22/2022
Series: Employee Development and Training
Part 232: Training Operations
Originating Office: National Conservation Training Center
2.1 Purpose. This chapter establishes U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) standards, qualifications and procedures for training law enforcement personnel.
2.2 Policy. The Service will meet its law enforcement responsibilities by maintaining and promoting an effective law enforcement program, ensuring the protection of human life, personal property and the nation's natural resources. These responsibilities will be met by entrusting law enforcement authority only to law enforcement professionals possessing adequate education, training, experience, aptitude, and high moral character.
2.3 Authority. Part 446 DM (Law Enforcement Handbook) implements statutes and regulations related to Federal law enforcement training and through which the Department delegates to bureau/office heads the authority to promote an effective law enforcement training program.
A. Director. Responsible for implementing and enforcing the training policy and standards set forth in 446 DM and developing any additional training policies necessary for the successful accomplishment of his/her/their law enforcement responsibilities as stated in 446 DM 1.5D.
B. Chief, Division of Law Enforcement. Promulgates mission-oriented training policy, procedures and standards within the Service. Provides for inspection and oversight in order to control law enforcement training activities conducted throughout the Service.
C. Branch of Training and Inspection (LE). Administers the various law enforcement training programs required for all Service law enforcement personnel.
D. National Refuge Law Enforcement Coordinator (RW). Responsible for coordination between the Division of Refuges and the Division of Law Enforcement. Conducts inspection and oversight of Refuge Law Enforcement Regional and field operations and ensures that the annual Regional refresher training meets Service standards.
E. Regional Refuge Law Enforcement Coordinators (RW). Responsible for Regional and field cooperation between Division of Refuges and Division of Law Enforcement. Responsible for annual In-Service training for their Regions.
2.5 Training Requirements and Qualifications for Law Enforcement Personnel.
A. Special Agents. All entry level special agents must successfully complete eight weeks of intensive training in Criminal Investigator School followed by eight weeks training in the Special Agent Basic School at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Upon satisfactory completion of these two courses, they are assigned to a Special Agent position and receive carefully monitored on-the-job training for a period of one year to 18 months. Subsequent to this initial training, all special agents must receive a minimum of 40 hours of "in-service" law enforcement training each year, which will include up to eight hours of firearms training. All entry level special agents must successfully complete the prescribed firearms training courses at the FLETC during the Criminal Investor School and Special Agent Basic School. Firearms qualifications for all Service Personnel are addressed in 442 FW 1.
B. Wildlife Inspectors. All entry level wildlife inspectors receive on-the-job training augmented by the four week Wildlife Inspector Basic School at the FLETC. Subsequent to this initial training, all wildlife inspectors will receive a minimum of 40 hours of "in-service" wildlife inspector training each year. These in-service training sessions are designed to maintain the wildlife inspector's proficiency in law enforcement techniques and skills, and to provide needed training regarding changes in laws, regulations, policies, and current trends in wildlife commercialization. All entry level wildlife inspectors must successfully complete the Wildlife Inspector Basic School.
The section below has been superseded by Director’s Order 205, 08/06/2012:
2.6 Training Requirements and Qualifications for Refuge Personnel.
A. Coverage. All refuge personnel who have law enforcement authority or duties (refuge officers) must meet established law enforcement training requirements. These requirements apply to permanent, seasonal/temporary employees, employees for whom law enforcement authority has been reinstated, and refuge employees needing in-service refresher training. They also apply to full-time or collateral duty refuge officers.
B. Length of Service. All employees who have law enforcement as a collateral duty must successfully complete (as measured by performance standards) their first year of Federal employment prior to attending basic law enforcement training. Employees hired as full-time officers are exempt from the length of service requirement. Any exception to this standard must be approved by the Regional Director.
C. Background Investigation. Collateral duty officers should have the background investigation initiated far enough in advance to have it completed before attending training.
D. Permanent Employees. All permanent employees selected for the position of refuge officer must complete the Basic Law Enforcement Course for Land Management Agencies and the Refuge Officer Basic School, both conducted at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) or similar training facilities currently approved by the Chief, Division of Law Enforcement. After completion of required basic law enforcement training, a refuge officer will have an orientation period of 1 year, during which he/she/they will be closely supervised. Whenever possible during this period, the employee will work in company with an experienced special agent or refuge officer. Subsequent to this initial training, all refuge officers must receive a minimum of 40 hours of In-Service law enforcement training each year, which will include up to 8 hours of firearms training. Field supervisors of refuge officers who do not themselves carry a commission shall attend, every 3 years, a 20-hour course conducted by the Branch of Training and Inspection, Division of Law Enforcement, developed specifically for non-commissioned field supervisors.
(1) Refuge officers who have successfully completed the Basic Law Enforcement Course for Land Management Agencies but have not attended the Refuge Officer Basic School may perform limited law enforcement duties within their one year orientation period provided they receive the 8 hour FWS orientation course required of seasonal law enforcement employees (Section 2.6 E (3)). Enforcement authority prior to completion of the Refuge Officer Basic School will be restricted to that of seasonal law enforcement employees.
(2) Limited law enforcement authority may be granted to new permanent employees, providing the individual meets specific training and experience requirements described under 2.6 E for seasonal/temporary employees. Enforcement authority would be restricted, and would be conditional for a period not to exceed two years pending successful completion by incumbents of the Basic Law Enforcement Course for Land Management Agencies conducted at FLETC.
E. Seasonal/Temporary Employees. The Service has the authority to allow designated seasonal/temporary employees to perform law enforcement duties under certain circumstances.
(1) Training Certification. Prior to being eligible for this type of position and receiving a commission, the seasonal/temporary employee must receive a training certification in one of the following ways:
(a) Successful completion of a law enforcement training course for seasonal employees at an institution which has been approved by the Department and FWS as a waiver to the Basic Law Enforcement Course for Land Management Agencies at FLETC. Within the Service, these waivers must be approved by the Chief, Division of Law Enforcement.
(b) Successful completion of a law enforcement training course at one of the accredited institutions approved for the seasonal law enforcement training program on the list maintained by the National Park Service. The subjects and hours for these courses are stipulated in the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program Syllabus maintained by the National Park Service.
(2) Recency of Training. When recency of training exceeds three years, a seasonal employee may retain his/her/their law enforcement commission only if he/she/they have been actively involved in law enforcement since receiving training. Three years is the maximum time allowed for absence from active law enforcement duties.
(3) Other Training. In addition, each region is responsible for providing, on a one-time basis, each seasonal refuge officer an 8 hour course consisting of 6 hours of 50 CFR training and 2 hours of FWS law enforcement policy training.
(4) Repetitive Seasonal/Temporary Appointments. Whenever the same individuals are selected for these seasonal positions in subsequent years, they must receive, in duty status, 40 hours of in-Service training annually and qualify/requalify with all Service issued firearms as required in 442 FW 1. Seasonal employees holding a commission who convert to permanent status, or similarly qualified new permanent employees may, if approved by the Regional Director, maintain their limited authority for a period of not to exceed 2 years. During this period, arrangements will be made to schedule the employee for the Basic Law Enforcement for Land Management Agencies Course and the Refuge Officer Basic School at FLETC.
For more information about this policy, contact the National Conservation Training Center. For more information about this website, contact Krista Bibb in the Policy and Regulations Branch (PRB), Division of Policy, Economics, Risk Management, and Analytics.
PRB website: Centralized Library of Servicewide Policies
Privacy, Disclaimer and Copyright Information | Information Quality Act
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior | USA.gov