DNR's Law Enforcement Division employs 214 conservation officers who serve the public and protect the natural Hoosier heritage of the state of Indiana. The division has its headquarters in Indianapolis and operates 10 law enforcement districts throughout the state. In 1897, the legislature gave the Commissioner of Fisheries power to appoint at least one deputy in every county. In 1911, an act was passed establishing game wardens. The Law Enforcement Division is Indiana’s oldest state law enforcement agency, and one of the most diverse.
In addition to the division's duty of enforcing state laws, Indiana conservation officers are active in a variety of non law enforcement activities, such as outdoor education including boater and snowmobile, hunter and trapper, Karl Kelley Youth Camp, and the Becoming an Outdoors Woman programs. River Rescue, Cave Rescue and Underwater Search and Recovery and K-9 Teams are specialty response units available statewide whenever needed.
Indiana conservation officers use an assortment of boats, snowmobiles and off road vehicles. Conservation officers are a unique resource often called upon to help during emergencies and natural disasters.
The Investigation Section (IS) works closely with other DNR Divisions, other state and local agencies, as well as federal partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, FBI and the Canadian Wildlife Service. IS receives information from a range of sources including federal, state, and local agencies, our uniformed conservation officers, and most importantly, the public.
Conservation officers use many tools to accomplish its mission. Wildlife decoys, as well as, computers, surveillance cameras and other electronic equipment are vital assets to the modern day conservation officer.
Officers receive specialty training in areas such as River Rescue, Advanced/Rescue SCUBA, firearms, emergency vehicle operation, alcohol breath test and defensive tactics to name a few.
TIP (Turn In a Poacher/Polluter) program , “WEAR IT INDIANA” and the Sportsman’s Benevolent Fund are other examples of positive and effective law enforcement tools that grow public awareness as they enlighten and inform sportsmen and other natural resource users.
Law Enforcement offices can be reached at our regional or district headquarters by phone or email during normal business hours.