HONOLULU (KHON2) — There is a slew of new officers coming of age in the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, 42 to be exact.

DLNR is increasing its ranks by 50 percent in mid-March. These new officers will be commissioned as part of Hawai‘i Conservation Resources Enforcement Officers.

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Over the last seven months, five women and 37 men have been immersed in intensive classroom instruction on a vast array of issues that they will likely encounter when they begin their tours of duty. But, at this point, they still have another three months of training to go.

DLNR said that “their curriculum was developed in collaboration with the criminal justice program at Honolulu Community College and is a nod to ensuring all CREOs receive formalized training in legal issues; state statutes and administrative rules; fishing and hunting regulations; firearms, watercraft and off-road vehicle operations.”

These officers will be imbued with the full powers of a police officer.

As part of their intensive training, these recruits trekked three-and-a-half miles in the Mokulē‘ia Forest Reserve on O‘ahu‘s North Shore to the Peacock Flats campground.

These 42 officers are an elite group that was selected from 500 applicants. DOCARE branches across the state will take on these fresh-faced rookies.

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“We are deeply indebted to the state legislature for recognizing the need for additional resources to protect our natural resources, by providing the necessary funding to stand-up the academy,” said DOCARE Enforcement Chief, Jason Redulla.