Working in a
Wildlife Law Enforcement System
By Yadvendradev Jahla, Ph.D, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun,
Robert H. Giles, Jr.,Ph.D. , Rural System, and
Bhaskar Sen, West Bengal
Contents current outline
This is a small book about a very big and important topic. It needs a very big book, a new library. It is about wild animals (fauna) but also about crime and society. It is about personal esthetic appreciation of and religious regard for animals and desires to protect them and about horrible abuses of animals and people internationally. There are vast sets of different laws and regulations many designed to protect animals, others to protect property owners and businesses. Any violation of these laws creates a "wildlife law enforcement problem."
Debates continue about the role of law enforcement in wildlife management which we call faunal system management and we continue to hold that it has been and continues to be a vital part of that complex activity. While wildlife law enforcement personnel take part in many, if not all, aspects of wildlife management, this book addresses those activities that are part of the faunal law enforcement subsystem.
Wildlife law enforcement can be seen as parallel to the other major aspects of faunal system management. It is making decisions and taking actions to manipulate the structure, dynamics, and relations between wild animal populations and people to achieve specific human objectives by means of the wild faunal resource. An important objective of enforcement is to manipulate the relations between wild animal populations and people.
History can provide insights. Wildlife (game and fish) law enforcement in the United States was the initial practice in the sequential development of law enforcement, predator control. refuge establishment, artificial stocking, habitat improvement and enterprise dynamics. Wildlife law enforcement as a tool for regulating the harvest of wildlife dates back about 1,000 years in recorded history.
Wildlife mores are standards of behavior toward wildlife that are regarded by a group as necessary for the welfare of the group. Wildlife mores become wildlife laws when they are formally enacted by a duly-authorized legislative body and when violation results in officially sanctioned punishment. Wildlife laws are formal means of social control, in contrast to informal folkways, mores and customs. Laws are needed to standardize mores and penalties for violating them. Wildlife laws tend to become more important as social control agents as a society advances chronologically and culturally and as social interactions increase.
Some wildlife law or regulation violations may occur because of conflicting desires of informal social control agents (e.g. hunter groups) and formal social control agents (wildlife law enforcement divisions and their representatives).
|Table 1. Definition of terms|
Herein, the parts of the system are outlined briefly and examples given, both observed and feasible, for state or provincial wildlife law enforcement agencies. Hopefully, other components may be suggested to the reader and then implemented to achieve an improved system. Generally, the more whole the system and the more interactions that are built with constructive feedback, the more effective will be the agency.
A major problem of the faunal resource manager is wildlife law violations ranging from stream pollution, illegal fishing, trespass, illegal hunting and trapping, and illegal processing or sale of animals or animal parts.
A systems approach to this large, complex and important problem is needed.
Not just doing things in sequence or logically, but taking a systems approach to wildlife law enforcement means:
|Fig. 1. The components of general systems theory. The enforcement activity is analyzed as a system and then design work and adaptations are made for unique situations.|
Develop the Context
All systems are subsystems. The wildlife law enforcement agency fits within the state or provincial wildlife resource agency, which fits within..., etc. A broad approach is needed to work with (and within) other organizations to gain assistance and power to achieve agency objectives. Collect the relevant laws. Identify the area. Identify the relevant officers, agents, and members of the courts. Establish contacts with state, national, and international law enforcement groups and agents.
Extremely difficult because of counter forces (e.g., preventing crime and maximizing arrests). We recommend developing a set of objectives to be weighted. cells with roads and public facilities from which a point can be seen. The lower the count, the better the cell for placing the facility. The algorithm works for hiding something or finding a spot where something is conspicuous (like a signal tower or line-of-sight spot for radio-tracking animals with radio-transmitters.) An example is seen in Table 2.
|Table 2. A set of wildlife law enforcement objectives to be weighted and developed into an integrated system performance measure, B*.|
The agency performance can be analyzed as:
B* = ((WjXj )/ Wj) x 100
and the maximum agency performance score is 100.
System inputs range from ideas, through gasoline and money, to data from the field. The work in volves developing a data base, in cooperation with other law agencies if possible, on resource users (i.e., license buyers), the general public, crimes committed, enforcement effort, and crime type, time, and location.
The information must be directly and specifically related to the objective(s) and none collected until after a computer program is developed for its analysis. There are already too many unused data bases, and agents spend too much time submitting reports, the data on which have no influence on any decisions. Data submission, coding, storage, retrieval, and processing all cost money. The faunal system needs its limited resources spent very wisely - only on information used in decision making.
The key topics about which decisions are required, always considering categories that might be changed, include:
These allow change in weighted crimes to be assessed relative to efforts spent to prevent or apprehend them.
One fundamental input to any decision-related system is that provided by research. To operate such a large and expensive subsystem as wildlife law enforcement on little more than intuition seems inappropriate. Research is needed on objectives; the causes of crimes (most of which are misdemeanors); the characteristics of violators; the relative effectiveness of techniques of education, deterrence, and patrol; search strategies; influence of social factors on crime rates; effects of violations on population dynamics; poacher behavior patterns; and influential treatments to reduce illegal import-export of animals or animal parts.
Developing effective, coordinated processes of the system include:
Feedback or continuing corrective action applies to all parts of the syatem, including itself. Questioning and corrective action need to be applied throughout. Objectives are essential as the standards are set for the desired conditions. Feedback first asks and assures: are the objectives properly stated? Then the questions may follow about whether all other aspects of the system are operating optimally.
Comparisons among areas and groups can be useful. Awards can be useful for superior performances. Reporting of success to the public - at least progress - is useful.
Flag systems to alert the manager to unusual lows or highs in performance, trends, or violation rates so that changes can be made.
Having each part of the system operational may be viewed as a criterion for the relative goodness of such a system (a gross Type-3 objective). Each part can be assigned a relative weight, an estimate or judgment about the effectiveness of that unit. The question is simply: How well, based on a concept of near perfection, is each component of the system being achieved. This is a statement of the estimated probability of genuine achievement. The average product of all of the assigned probabilities (qi) of each part of the system operating well, weighted by their relative, non-zero importance, wi, is Q, an index to how well the system is operating. Thus
Q =( wi qi / wi ) / n.
The value of Q can quickly become very small (e.g., if 3 units of 1.0-weighted parts of the system are achieving only one-third effectiveness, then
Q = (0.33 x 0.33 x 0.33)/3 = 0.012).
See CAP50, CAP5043, and CAP2028 for studying these components of an agency. The need is to gain a Q value as large as possible. Q can be plotted as it changes over the years.
No one can know the future, but there are a lot of things we can say about it with confidence. If an agent is in hot pursuit of a boat on a forested lake and the boat being chased at high speed is 20 feet from a partly submerged tree, most people will agree that the boat will be demolished. There may be a lot of screaming and steering and some slight change but we can bet on destruction. We can predict the future! A better analogy for the wildlife law enforcement system is a barge. We are looking at a large, lumbering hulk of a system - a system of wildlife, forests, other land uses, and people. After the command to stop, a barge will still move along. It will eventually stop, perhaps at some predictable spot. It responds, but according to some well-known laws. These are not guesses, they are reasonable predictions, things known with a high level of confidence.
We are looking at a barge-like system, a society and ecosystem that is big, slow, and not likely to change rapidly. There is good news in this - and bad. The good news is that we have time to get ready for the future. The bad news is that we may not be able to change fast enough to avoid the coming catastrophes.I am willing to think about the future, to engage in feedforward, because I believe that if we are prepared, we can avoid the pains and problems. On some days, I believe we can shape and mold the future. We do not have to be responders, merely getting out of the way, merely avoiding problems. Continuing the analogy, we appear to be in a barge without power, adrift, moved by tides, winds, and waves. Imagine regaining power. We can even push our minds to decide on ways to influence the forces - how to block the winds, how to build structures to control the tides.
Our premises and part of our feedforward subsystem are:
Some changes are coming because they should be. Piecemeal work on change will not be sufficient, any more than for building a barge. You do not pick and choose the parts you will include. A total, functional, designed strategy is needed. Law enforcement is called upon to deal with endangered species as well as pests and predator problems. It has had major development in hunting societies.
The U.S. and Canada have had relatively stable license revenues for many years. There have been license value adjustments so we can see some decline in hunting license buyers, increases in angling licenses bought. Inflation has reduced the buying power of agency income from licenses (about 300 million dollars annually). Nationally, there has been no increase in the number of licensed hunters since 1975. Since the total population has increased, this means the hunting proportion has decreased. Anglers have increased. We need to keep thinking about the importance of hunters, but must also realize that we deal with a minority population. If they all could agree, and if they all voted, we could only amass 10% of the vote! It is important to keep our eyes on the percent of hunters because politicians and others do. The percent is influenced by three classes of factors:
Age structure of population
History of hunting or angling within the close family
Residence of population
Habitat losses (a)
Access to habitat (b)
Interaction of a and b
Price of gasoline, influencing access
Local management changes
Perceived hunting success in previous years
Perceived number of hunters; social acceptability
Perceived danger from hunting accidents.
The last class of factors causes some change but the People and Area factors are the driving forces. They cause the big swings.
The percentage of the population (not the total) that hunts is decreasing. The present population has a high dropout rate as hunters. These dropouts are hunters - and part of them are poachers. The wildlife law enforcement agency cannot keep up its current arrest rate because the poachers are changing. A constant enforcement program will result in decreasing arrests, not because of officers' action (deterrence or whatever it is called), but because there are fewer violators.
The successors of today's officer (hereinafter "agent") may have an increase in violators but probably not. Now one-fourth of the children in the U.S. live in single-parent homes. In most of these, the children live with their mother. Few women hunt. (Less than half of 1 percent do so.) Individuals learn to hunt from their family. The male teachers are gone; the male hunter-image or hero figure is being lost. The hunters will decrease because of the family change as well as because families move from rural to urban conditions. As hunters decrease, license buyers will decrease, and agency support will decrease. Game law violators will probably decrease because the potential violators are a part of this non-male related family change. The small scale violations will persist and perhaps increase due to changing attitudes toward the law and its enforcement and ignorance. Because of these changes and without special new efforts, financial support for an increasing or even stable agency program is likely to become difficult to sustain.
Fishing increases but it is leveling off quickly. It is where growth in wildlife law enforcement agency work can occur, but only in a limited way.
Returning to the Parts of the System and Working with Them
Identifying the Potential Violator Population
The work of enforcement is seen from the managers' view point. He or she is or can be in control. The system has structure and it can be seen as simply
In West Virginia, for example, people, age 15 to 45 are about 45 percent of the population. Of these, 49 percent are males. Of these, 69 percent own guns. Thus, the potential violator pool (obviously not all violators, only a unit for comparison) is about 290,000 people. Further refined by subtracting blind and handicapped people and those opposed to hunting and firearms, the number can be reduced. If 2 percent are actively poaching on any day and there are 100 officers, then there are about 58 violators per officer on any day. Arrests related to this number are likely to provide new insights into the officers' and agency's performance.
The rural areas are changing in two conflicting directions. More small farms are going fallow - with some wildlife species increases. Other farms are starting more intensive operations with larger cultivated areas and consequent wildlife decreases. The crop values are high; the wildlife influences, though less in number, are greater and produce real damage. In both situations the apparent damage problems are increasing...while hunters in the US and elsewhere, potentially suppressing populations, are decreasing! The results - accelerating demand for wildlife-related damage control or compensation, both activities typically involving the agent. Further, there have been an increase in people leaving the cities to live in rural areas. They typically do not know how to protect themselves and their property from ordinary wildlife problems.
Education as a Major System Process
While ignorance of the law is no excuse for its violation, Beattie and Giles (1979) found most people in Virginia were ignorant of the wildlife laws. I suspect the same elsewhere. I cannot convince myself that it is every citizen's job to read and learn the intricate faunal, game, and fish laws and regulations of a state. Even learning the details of the entire code seems excessive for a hunter seeking one species in the same area for many years. There has to be some means to bridge this knowledge gap. The violation rate can surely decrease if knowledge increases. It is a researchable topic. Time and money can probably be effectively spent on teaching crime-specific , area-specific knowledge. Spending public money on such topics as meanders on Mars or even bird appreciation can be deferred until substantial change occurs in the knowledge base of citizens about the laws protecting fauna.
A few years ago, most game-related prosecutions in West Virginia, USA, just for example, occurred for violation of laws against carrying loaded or uncased guns in vehicles. These 965 cases constituted 14 percent of all prosecutions. This topic seems a perfect target for an educator bent on the greatest possible behavioral change per dollar spent by an agency.
In contrast to the above, I doubt if education is the way to stop deer spotlighters. To whom would such education be presented? How would behavioral change be measured? For example only, there were 20 prosecutions for this in West Virginia in one year. When teaching is perceived as causing behavior to change, then lectures may be one way to cause change, but "making a person an offer he can't refuse" may be another. Buying a half of a beef carcass for a person's freezer may be 10 times more cost-effective than the costs of vehicle travel and time spent in 10 stake-outs required to make a case against that same person living in poverty who poaches deer for meat for his family. At least such a tactic would provide more satisfaction than having the court dismiss the case! (not uncommon). If the spotlighting behavior changes, the crime disappears - perhaps that is what is needed. But that requires confidence in objectives.
Some education takes place when an agent checks a license; when a law is written. Action programs, however, are conducted by the enforcement staff in some areas, by a larger agency education staff elsewhere. There needs to be a major decision. Who should do it? We think that there needs to be a separation: the person who may take you to court for punishment should not be the person teaching you about wildlife, the law, the importance of the resource, and how to use it wisely. Education subsystem components may include an optimum mix (perhaps estimated with a linear programming methodology) from among:
The audience needs to be decided and the importance of each weighted: hunters and other users, adults, children, other clients, the courts, the general public? I suspect that one day the characteristics of violators can be known well enough to target groups of them for specific education.
Educating the Agents about the Agency Processes
A major part of any agency program should be staff education. This includes entry level work as well as continuing education and so-called in-service education. The topics often listed as relevant are (and which need to be weighted for selection locally):
Other training may include:
Education and its careful timing may be planned for:
Such newsletters often include:
The Agency and Its Processes
The power of an agency to act and work to achieve perceived objectives varies according to local law and the decided structure of faunal system law enforcement work. The branches in a potential decision tree emerge from the nodes of ability to enforce laws or take action related to:
The staff (or entire agency) participate in formulating and elaborating laws and regulation in various amounts. These vary with trapping, angling, commercial fishing, hunting, and other wildlife resource use. The various amounts can be evaluated along a scale such as in Table 3.
|Table 3. A general scale for the amount of participation of the wildlife law enforcement agency in preparing and elaborating laws and regulations related to the wildlife resource (trapping, hunting, angling, commercial fishing, and other use).|
1. Direct and total responsibility for elaborating all laws and regulations.
2. Shared responsibility for elaborating a majority of the laws and regulations.
3. Shared responsibility for elaborating a majority of the laws and regulations and, in most of the remaining cases, consultation.
4. Shared responsibility for elaborating a minority of the laws and regulations and, in most of the remaining cases, consultation.
5. No responsibility whatsoever but, in most cases, consultation.
6. No responsibility whatsoever and, in a few cases, consultation.
7. No responsibility and no consultation whatsoever.
In seeking to obtain an estimate of an agency's effectiveness, such analyses provide a coefficient, one useful in judging whether an agency must work diligently to enforce a law or regulation in which it had no role in writing and even strong objections, or to work with regulations for which they had full responsibility.
Gaining Control over the System
In industry is found the concept of cybernetics: the study of control theory. We are all familiar with the household control device, the thermostat. It demonstrates automated change and the continual dynamic shaping of a system. There will be agencies that gain control of the law enforcement effort. The possible control measures include:
1. Sharing reports, at least regionally, to compare progress and performance at least to engage in a low-key competition of agency excellence (not some trivial pistol shooting competition).
2. Using internal evaluators, ombudsmen, who are empowered to compare, contrast, and suggest improvements.
3. Developing an attitude of adjustment and change, a kind of tentativeness, one of setting up situations for creative, adaptive work.
4. Doing demographic analyses to gain knowledge of the number of potential violators and how that number changes.
5. Improving control over the time resource. Agency budgets change, but the magnitude is relatively the same. Personnel costs are very high, usually a large percent of the total budget. Because of personnel costs, discretionary funds, i.e., money to be allocated wisely to improve the system, are relatively few. Control (allocation studies, models, and procedures), therefore, must be over how time is spent. New performance indices are needed to accompany the concept of time being the real cost of law enforcement.
6. Taking a systems approach (See Chapter 1 and Giles and Scott 1969). "Pinching violators", the more the better, may be sufficient for some agencies, but the modern agency probably sees itself as a part of a dynamic resource system, one producing a variety of abundant benefits for people at low costs. That agency can take a systems approach - the only way we can see for dealing with the hard questions and complexity that every natural resource or environmental agency faces.
Objectives can hardly be over-emphasized because without objectives all actions are equally good. Increasingly technology, society, and the agency within it, will have to balance know-how with know-why. The answers to why are found in sets of objectives.
Consider an objective of "To have the fewest arrests possible." This sounds reasonable. However, to achieve this, the agent might sleep late, drink much coffee, and go home early. There could be zero arrests...but for the wrong reasons. An alternative, however, is that poachers could be excessively afraid of being caught and everyone may have been taught the laws. An alternative objective of "To have many arrests" sounds reasonable too, because the agent obviously needs to be busy. However, the agent could be emphasizing the easy arrests, concentrating where people gather. Which is best? Both cannot be. What are good objectives - for the agent, agency, resource, or citizens? These have to be developed so that time, resources, talents, and money can be rationally allocated. How can you tell? You allocate to achieve objectives. We have done some work with this (Ritter 1975; Beattie, Cowles, and Giles 1977; Giles 1978, Bullard 1993) and at least some guides are available. Publishing a list of objectives is the first and most important step toward developing a systems approach to wildlife law enforcement.
Giles (1978) described the difficulties of formulating wildlife law enforcement objectives. It is suggested that a composite list be developed and that each objective weighted in importance. Examples of potential objectives are: Probable duplication in this section......
Wildlife law enforcement objectives, or statements of desired outcomes, are important for measuring enforcement program achievement. Unfortunately, most state wildlife law enforcement divisions don't have enforcement objectives and criteria for measuring objectives. About 1 of every 5 state vildlife law enforcement divisions has 1 or more objectives and 1 or more measurement criteria for each objective.There are many objectives of the subsystem. A list of potential objectives developed over many years in research projects at Virginia Tech include:
Staff, as part of this plan, should assign a weight (W) or relative importance to each objective. Then annually, a subjective evaluation (K) (perhaps on a scale of 0 to 10) can be given to each and an overall annual subsystem score (S) obtained. Procedures will be provided.
It will be clear from the above that a simple statement of a wildlife law enforcement system will not serve anyone well. An objective of reducing arrests (logical if poaching has been prevented) can promote inaction by a scheming officers (i.e., to get a good score, make no arrests!). Awards are given for maximum arrests, but an agent who is very effective in education, prevention, and early arrests could never gain such an award. Hundreds of small-crime arrests might counter one or two carefully-planned arrests developed over several years for a single highly-valued case.
Secondary, policy, and philosophy-related objectives (a variety of "types") are abundant:
Further Work on Inputs
System inputs (see Chapter 6) are money, power, energy, information, and equipment that flow into an agency and are used to seek the objectives. Many of the following now exist in some agencies. All do not, and some, probably, are needed.
1. Data Base - Maintain comprehensive information system on laws, agents, hunters, trappers, anglers, suspected violators, and suspected poacher aids (e.g., markets). Uniform nomenclature and coding can allow rapid progress in analyses within and among states and provinces (Pyle 1974, Morse 1984).
2. Poacher Information System - Develop generalized personality profiles on poachers or other major law violators, and information on convicted and suspected poachers. Study the dynamics of the poacher population and factors that influence it.
3. Agent Evaluation System - Maintain an evaluation procedure for all agents to include rewards and incentives related to: (a) general knowledge about resources and the agency, (b) knowledge of the law, (c) physical conditioning, (d) problem solving, (e) synthesis, and (f) performance.
4. The Agent - An effective screening and selection procedure is needed, including preliminary announcements that: (a) provide information about the agency and (b) reduce applications to only those with a reasonable chance of acceptance (reducing rejections and related negative public relations that result).
5. Agent's Book - Publish an agent's book to improve operations and provide assistance to other enforcement groups.
6. Education - Engage in designing a cost-effective, well balanced public system, including:
Educational targets include:
The agency's constructive influence can be widespread. It can achieve great power by the synergistic effects of such involvement.
Research Results as Inputs to Decisions
Wildlife law enforcement cannot continue to spend 40% or more of the agency's budget with so little justification, little backing, and little grounding in efficiency and effectiveness. In wildlife conservation, the funds have always been limited. They have greatly increased in the U.S. over 50 years but there appear to be hard financial times ahead and the questions about effectiveness will be asked frequently and with little tolerance. Difficulty of the questions will be no excuse for not having the answers.
I have outlined wildlife research needs (Giles et al. 1971, Giles 1974, Giles and Ritter 1974) yet some people do not see the possibilities or how to do such research. Research has to be a part of the future of wildlife law enforcement (Beattie et al. 1977, Beattie and Giles 1979). The overriding concepts are:
Process Related "Projects"
The project types that we suggest and some already in operation that might be shared among agencies to work collectively against violators are:
1. A Computer Aid for Setting and Revising AgencyObjectives
Stating objectives properly is very difficult. There are many rules and criteria. There are many dimensions to each objective. Without a set of very well developed objectives, an agency cannot provide itself with constructive adaptation and revisions to meet current conditions or to allocate time or money rationally. This would be a user-friendly program for a PC computer.
2. An Agent's Patrolling Aid
It makes sense to follow a tip or lead, but without one, a computer program would suggest a randomly selected patrol route to minimize cost and match season with species-related violations.
3. Poacher Visibility
Using radio-telemetry, as with animals, agents and simulated violators are studied to determine how visible are violators given different dress, time of day, season, vegetation, terrain, and other factors. Use: to quantify the likely effectiveness of an hour spent in a walking or driving search.
4. The Broad View
Landscape analyses using computer maps to quantify what an agent can see and hear from roads and vantage points. Allows areas to be compared. Helps select optimum vantage points and patrol routes. Also wildfire control related.
5. Interviews With Violators
A search for common characteristics of different types of violators. Determines the influence of knowledge of game laws, family behavior, knowledge of the agents' behavior, and markets on violators.
6. Methods to Influence Compliance and Violation Rates
Experimental tests in different areas to cause an agent's or agency's performance measure(s) to change significantly.
7. A Computer System for Analyzing the Human Population of a State for Wildlife Law Enforcement Agency Planning
A new word-processor-based, dynamically evolving planning and guidance system can be used as the base.
8. Ownership: How Private Land Ownership Patterns Influence Wildlife Law Enforcement and Violations
Size, shape, distribution, habitat type, and nearness to cities and public hunting areas all influence hunting and violations. These differences may be able to explain differences in crime rates among areas and influence the effectiveness scores of agents.
9. The Agent and Crop and Livestock Damage Complaints
Regional survey of practices and preparation of a computer aid for analyzing situations and developing reports to landowners as well as to a claims-payment authority.
10. How Each Regulation Influences the Resource
Some regulations are to protect the resource, others the hunters, some to distribute the harvest equitably, some to assure license revenues for the agency, and some have other or unspecified purposes. There are needs to evaluate which objectives are most important and how each regulation contributes. With limited resources, the most important ones may have to get most attention. Computer simulation is proposed.
Research or administrative studies (often a type of feedback) or systems development is done to create inputs for decisions. Research-based administration (even called systems development) creates processes for improving decisions and redirecting action. It selects subsystems excellent for adapting and improving systems as well as predicting. It even allows studies of how to create an optimum subsystem for formulating and analyzing objectives. Research (in its various forms, but with increasing precision and quantification) is essential to a systems approach
11. Courts Project
Conduct an educational and public relations program to reach the courts to explain wildlife law, improve the sentences, and achieve fairness and balance in convictions relative to reported cases and arrests. Study efforts to create special local courts.
12. Conviction Program
Implement a program for convicted violators including: (a) warnings, (b) work-forces relating to wildlife, and (c) work for money to improve wildlife situations.
13. License Program
Use a variety of treatments including (a) punching scheme (hole punched at each warning by an officer), (b) revocation, (c) increased later costs after conviction, (d) suspension, and (e) reduced fees over time for law obeisance.
14. Volunteer Force
Develop a program for gaining and supervising deputies for (a) assisting with work force, and (b) assisting in research.
Implement a program to turn in law violators (Beattie 1976 a and b). Anonymous phone calls are solicited. In some areas (where non-anonymous), rewards are made if arrests occur.
16. Telephone Book "Yellow Pages"
Advertising extensively appropriate telephone numbers for citizens to call about observed violations. Automated answering services may be combined with the numbers. The internet and web sites open possibilities.
17. Undercover Force
Operate an undercover force to maximize information about and to stop high value crimes.
18. Law Quality Committee
Activate a committee to screen and assure that all laws are well stated, brief, and meet biological and other constraints (Giles 1974). Publish a "score" for the quality of existing laws and regulations.
Use a computer simulator to aid in exploring effects of changes in society (e.g., age of people in a region Giles and Diamond, above analyses), in the economy (e.g., effects of unemployment), in enforcement effort (e.g., agents allocated Cowles and Giles 1982), in hunting attitude, in rural living, in deterrence, and other factors on actual and likely violators and thus on agency objectives.
20. Outlet Surveillance
Conduct a program to survey outlets for illegal wildlife such as:
(a) meat coolers,
(b) butcher shops, and
(c) fur markets and exports.
21. Deterrence Committee
Operate a strategic committee to study effects of and implement optimal deterrence of poachers and wildlife law disobedience.
22. Poacher Display
Invite poachers and other major violators to display their craft and techniques at trapper-hunter-angler meetings and shows.
23. Payment Strategy
Explore cost-effective techniques for using money to reduce law enforcement problems (e.g., subsidy of food-needy families; pay for not poaching; and damage claims).
24. Random Road Checks
Design a system for stopping cars and checking for illegal material or actions.
25. License Display
Require a field coat display of licenses for hunting and fishing.
26. Violation Display
Require display of a "convicted status" symbol on license and field clothes while hunting for at least one year after conviction.
27. Native Peoples Taskforce
Organize a taskforce to minimize stressful situations among native people, wildlife laws, and their enforcement.
28. Unemployed Taskforce
Organize a taskforce to minimize poaching and maximize the human potentials of the unemployed.
29. Cowles' Workforce Allocation
Improve allocation in time and space to meet seasonal needs for lowest possible costs (Cowles 1979).
Processes as Actions and Practices
Agents seem to be called upon to do everything. The following list of such activities may be weighted in terms of the likelihood of each activity contributing to one or more objectives (listed) of an agency. Then actual actions (and how well each is performed) may be judged relative to how well each contributes to the agency's performance and achieving objectives:
Agents' Time and Process Efficiency
It is usually possible for agents to estimate the time they spend in various activities. The quality of the estimates improves if "hunting" and "other seasons" are the two categories of the year used. The activity categories may be:
Time clearly spent on apprehending violators (No. 5 above) needs to be investigated since surely convictions are a function of such work. Convictions of highly-weighted crimes (Bullard and Giles 1993) may take more time; this is the essence of the problem ... how to allocate preciously little available agent time to achieving convictions. The following general actions can be estimated. Perhaps some day a model can be created that estimates convictions in a region based on how time is allocated to each (and all) of the methods employed. These methods may include:
Each of the above patrol types can be further analyzed for its main purpose or utility such as:
The general conduct can be analyzed as:
Time spent in the above activities is difficult to judge so averages or median values are to be used; best estimates of hours per week and/or weeks per year. The need is for some reasonable amount of time as a proportion of agents' overall tasks. Profit analyses may be a useful methodology for studies.
Laws and regulations are created by the people and their representatives for a reason. We analyze that and rephrase it as to achieve one or more objectives. As agents we take that as given (though by our legal feedback may seek to improve the statement). Then we can begin to analyze the inputs and processes that will help achieve that law, prevent its violation, and allow the agency to achieve its objectives (already outlined as difficult to decide or discover). The important and useful analyses of laws are species specific and include:
The potential combinations of the above techniques (in addition to the length of the list) are impressive. Selecting an optimum mix can be very difficult. The results, optimum for one year, may change due to the rapidly changing nature of user needs and demands, the public attitude to laws and their enforcement, the habitat, and the wildlife populations themselves. Continual adjustment seems essential to avoid the status of outmoded.
Efficiency is a word relating to the cost in time or money of achieving a product or service. Effectiveness relates to achieving an objective efficiently. In systems work we work for effectiveness. Perhaps the effectiveness of equipment used may someday be evaluated but given the above difficulties in selecting among the millions of combinations of methods and strategies, the fuzzy set of objectives, and the uncertainty of who the violators are as a class, the selection of optimum equipment seems impossible.
A Last Resort Perhaps making available a checklist, a set of resources, and opportunities for their use can be the most feasible solution. The checklist, perhaps judged by some general set of criteria or comparative effectiveness in achieving some general but unspecified objectives, may be:
Information systems and data sets and statistics
The Agency and Its Size
The staff, facilities, and budget of the agency must influence its effectiveness. Just how does agency size determine how well it achieves objectives. What is optimum size? How many officers should there be? is a good question but it does not provide the decision bases. The quality of each officer is needed just as are the hours spent and the amount of time they spend doing other things (such as collecting research data or educating children). These are essential modifiers for the answer.
The questions may be:
Then the questions of part-time workers, deputies, and volunteers needs to be addressed. Eventually some model of systems performance or success (Q) as a function of staff is needed. This may emerge from regions within the same state or from multiple states in a reasonably similar region.
Members of minority or ethnic groups may be relevant to laws relating to employment as well as to work within such group.
Diverse existing law enforcement requires usually difficult comparisons. In some areas, fishing law enforcement is separated from that with game laws. In some areas, enforcement is included within the state police force, outside of the wildlife agency.
Processes of Law Enforcement on Regulated Areas
Pressures are likely to emerge to create private hunting and angling areas. The public areas will remain, but these cannot sustain the levels of hunting or hunting quality from a population that is going to be less mobile due to gasoline shortages, a population at greater risk due to hunting accidents, a population wanting higher quality hunts, and a population forced out of old hunting sites on private-land. The needs will be for new licensing, regulating such places, and supervising people who use them.
The total area of involvement (size of the state or province) may be instructive but probably is only a variable of low significance as managers pursue information that may suggest agency improvements or at least measures of effectiveness.
Water area is relevant but confounded by differences in stream size and length, lake size and shoreline length, and attitudes towards different types of fish and angling. Commercial fishing confounds further; it needs to be separated. Shoreline length may relate well to stream length when analyzing anglers to be studied for fishing violations. Saltwater shore line creates another category for analyses.
"Area" needs to be refined to include areas in parks and reserves and their influence on enforcement on system performance. This can be done by separating areas in water, cities, and military bases. Length of roads (by type) can influence performance scores, especially if a zone of influence is included with the length.
Inputs: The Number of People and their Tendencies
Total human population suggests maximum potential poachers. As discussed early in this chapter, annual apprehensions compared to the potential number may improve performance measures.
Annual records of people "acted upon" by the enforcement group needs to be studied. At least the following categories need to be studied because they are measurable and potentially related to objectives:
It is vitally important to see trends so that enforcement programs are not created or increased at the same time that trends in the population suggest that the problem will almost disappear due to changes in the numbers or structure of the human population.
Laws and Regulations
There are general analyses of and comparisons to be made of state laws but we find such efforts of limited usefulness. We can imagine a general, statewide opening date of a hunting season for a species may be related to the latitude of a state. There may be other such relations. Species-specific analyses may give insight into how to improve conditions. Laws and regulations are now usually set with a complex interaction of users, wildlife analysts, and questions seen are those about:
The actual starting date as well as closing dates are significant and can relate to benefits received by users from the experience as well as ease of enforcement.
Violations are bad, by definition. Having extra fish in the creel, however, does not seem as bad as killing a bald eagle, an endangered species, or a Satpuda tiger. Both are violations, however. There is a continuum of importance of obeying the law or conversely (but not equally) of the badness of disobeying the law. We believe weights can be assigned to the importance of obeying categories of law. (Some laws are poorly written etc., but they have a generally understood intent. The gross intent is what can be and should be evaluated.) A comparison of weights assigned by agents, by the general public, and by resource users (trappers, anglers, hunters) has been conducted (Bullard 1993).
The following violation categories need to be weighted selecting the most important first, assigning it a weight of 100, then comparing all others in relation to this most important law or regulation type.
In practice, agents must take action for each specific violation. The agency's position from a philosophical point of view is needed for the relative seriousness of each violations, perhaps in terms of negative impact on an agency's objectives and orientation.
Agency Support Services and Structures for the Agent
Analyses are needed of the following support services. An agency having well-selected additional resources other than the regular staff must surely be more effective than other agencies. Can costs per increment of improvement be afforded? is a key question. Examples of support services needing evaluation among states or regions are:
Insurance carried can influence agent performance, recruitment, and retention. There are very high costs of hiring and educating agents. To allow them to move away or retire without careful attention to replacement training and harvesting their knowledge can be a great loss to an agency, agents, and the people. Costs or recruiting and retaining agents needs to be well documented. Questions are needed about insurance coverage for all staff such as for:
Compulsory retirement age, age of first hiring, pensions and related issues influence performance.
Feedback is not simply monitoring but monitoring plus (a) making comparisons with a standard (objectives) and then (b) making adjustments in the system (the minimum amount since all costs must be included)) so that the objectives are better met. Feedback is exercised on all parts of the system, including itself.
Appoint a 3-person committee to check written objectives every 3 years to be sure they are precise, well formulated, and operating properly in the system.
Devise means to display for agents and the public the scores achieved by agents and the agency.
Employ an inspector or general observer with a primary role of positive improvements, suggestions, and transfer of knowledge for improvements within the agency. This is a means for fine tuning the agency.
Every piece of data needs to be used. Adjustments are needed to assure all resources are effectively used. Rentals of equipment are to be encouraged in some cases, purchases in others, to assure cost effectiveness.
Revisions and testing of all processes within the system including transportation, communication, selection, etc. This includes over (or under) use of computers.
Checking itself, the feedback system asks and adjusts whether all of the feedback mechanisms are working well and cost effectively.
Healthful skepticism about feedforward (see the next section) should prevail and comparisons should be made between projections and actual occurrence and the methods then adjusted to improve on the estimates about the future. Study of other future research should allow advances elsewhere to be made in the feedforward activities of the wildlife law enforcement policy.
Law enforcement in a state, province, or region is often influenced by presence of federal agents, by international laws and policies, and by national transportation and energy policy. Laws in adjacent states influence within-state violations. The agency needs to analyze continually the influence of outside factors and to decide on the limits of operation and active involvement (e.g., in influencing waterfowl laws or customs regulations on furs).
The feedforward component of the general system is a special combination of input and process. It is a means for attempting to see the near future and to adjust the present system in relation to it. For example, if a human population in a region was changing drastically (average age increasing and urbanizing), then planning to increase the number of field-oriented agents would seem impractical. The feedforward function would adjust the present system (at least its agent acquisition and planning processes) to meet the needs of this projected environment.
As the manager becomes more effective in gaining obedience to the law, enforcement efforts can shift and resources be re-allocated. "Presence" must be displayed continuously, but probably less frequently and with greater conspicuousness than before the law enforcement system was created.
Program plans need to be ready for sharp changes in local employment and for new access. Efforts are needed in group sessions to predict the future hunting population as a function of age, education, and economic status. In some areas, action is needed now to assure that animals can be removed legally to protect the forest from animals (Chapter 11) when conventional hunting pressures decrease.
Activities for the future might include ideas like:
There are troublesome but exciting times ahead. The old ways may have been adequate, but there are new realities of less money, less fossil energy for patrolling, more drug-case involvement, less respect for the law - but also fewer violators. The reasons for violating are probably changing. The dangers to agents are probably increasing. There are new pressures for accountability for measurable performance indexes. There are abundant solutions that can be conveniently packaged and effectively integrated in a systems approach.
The conscious design and development of a system can build loyalties and focus preciously scarce resources of time and energy on agreed upon objectives. Increased effectiveness that includes measures of both achieving stated objectives and minimizing costs can result. The other improvements in communicating within the agency, in experiencing synergistic efficiencies, in reducing duplication, and in being involved in a continually challenging and creative environment cannot be ignored. Support for those so designed and encouragement of people attempting to redesign wildlife law enforcement agencies as systems may not be a bad idea.
As we try to comprehend and think through all of the previous, often interrelated ideas, and begin to formulate advice for the private land owner or the village leader, we arrive, perhaps too simplistically at:
Perhaps you will share ideas with me about some of the topic(s) above .
Robert H. Giles, Jr.
July 3, 2005