Department of Environmental Conservation

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Environmental Conservation Police Officer

Thinking about becoming an Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO)? Check out a video to see what it's all about!

Since 1978, NYS ECOs have been assisted by uniquely trained K9s - watch a video about how these K9s are trained and how they assist our ECOs.

Do you have what it takes to join the "Thin Green Line"? Do you want to take steps to protect the natural resources of New York State? Do you want to do your part to stop pollution of New York State's air, water, fish and wildlife?

If you are hard working, diligent, adaptable, and have a love for protecting NY's environment, then you might be interested in becoming an Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO).

Environmental Conservation Police Officer Video Testimonials

The following links leave DEC's website

Civil Service Exam

The first step toward becoming an ECO is successfully passing the Civil Service exam. The NY State Department of Civil Service holds exams on a recurring basis, usually every couple of years.

To qualify for the exam, you must have a bachelors degree or an associates degree, and qualifying experience. Though not required to take the exam, at the time of appointment, you must be at least 21 years old; there is no upper age limit to be an ECO recruit. In NYS, a person must be 21 years old to be a police officer. Check out the Civil Service website for more information on hiring requirements and qualifying experience, and to be notified of exam announcements (leaves DEC's website).

Hiring Process


Candidates participating in the timed run portion of the
physical ability test

Upon passing the Civil Service exam, qualified candidates will be invited to participate in standardized physical ability testing. Candidates must meet a minimum standard to proceed to the next phase in the hiring process.

Learn more about the physical ability exams by viewing clips on how to conduct the one-minute sit-up, push-ups, and 1.5 mile timed run.

Candidates who successfully pass the Physical Ability Testing phase will undergo a rigorous background investigation, psychological exam, medical exam, and interview board.

The background investigation is very thorough and can take weeks to complete.

The psychological exam will be given to all candidates at one time and will be administered by a licensed psychologist. Candidates will complete this exam at their own pace with an average completion time of approximately five hours.

The medical exam is administered by a practitioner from NY State Employee Health Services.

The interview board is conducted in one or two locations across the state and allows for the candidates to be interviewed by command officers in the Division of Law Enforcement.

These phases take several months to complete and applicants that successfully complete them will be eligible for placement in the next Basic School at the DEC Training Academy.

Basic School


Recruits learn a variety of topics in the Basic School

Recruit Officers spend approximately six months at the Basic School for residential paramilitary training. The recruit officers report on Sundays and are not permitted to leave until Friday evenings.

They are immersed in training ranging from basic police procedure such as Criminal procedure Law, Penal Law, and Vehicle and Traffic Law, to specialized courses in Wildlife Forensics, Environmental Conservation Law and Wildlife Identification. They engage in Physical Training, Defensive Tactics and Firearms Training, among other courses.

Field Training

After the rigors of course work are complete, successful recruits graduate the Basic School and are assigned to a Field Training Officer in their assigned patrol sector. Due to seniority and transfers, recruits are usually assigned to patrol sectors in New York City, Long Island, or the Lower Hudson Valley.

For information such as salary, location of positions, and additional requirements for appointment, visit the Civil Service website.

Email dec.sm.ECO.Recruitment@dec.ny.gov with your questions on becoming an Environmental Conservation Police Officer.