A Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy working with the Division of Natural Resources is now one of the only local law enforcement officers in the country to receive Federal Deputy Game Warden status.
Sheriff’s Deputy, Joe Ragen works as a marine officer with the Lee County Division of Natural Resources enforcing manatee speed zone laws, investigating abandoned and derelict boats and protecting the county’s artificial reefs. But now he’ll also act as a Deputy U.S. Game Warden with the authority to enforce federal laws. The agency’s Senior Environmental Specialist, Justin McBride, says the authority to enforce federal regulations will not dramatically change Ragen’s day to day tasks and responsibilities.
“If he stops someone in a manatee zone, he will have the ability to write either a federal citation or a state citation, so from that aspect he’s going to learn the different burden of proof necessary to write a federal citation. Federal citations carry more weight in certain situations so it’s just a newer tool in his tool box for resource protection.”
Until now, only U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers had the authority to enforce federal marine protection laws.
Wednesday, 20 June 2007 01:00
WardenWritten by John Davis