Educational Needs for Investigating and Prosecuting Environmental Crimes




Johnsto, Randall

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


In the state of Texas, formal training for police officers or prosecutors in the field of environmental enforcement is not provided or required by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) or law schools. The training in investigating and prosecuting of these crimes would prove to be an invaluable asset to all agencies and communities in Texas. The need for this type of initial training, along with the required training, would be minimal and would provide awareness of violations, benefits for the community, and safety above all. The cases investigated would include air pollution, illegal dumping, water pollution, and environmental hazards. Communities, both large and small, across Texas have an educated, active environmental enforcement staff and have proven to provide a more safe and valuable place to reside. The education for all practical purposes should be completed in each of the professionals’ initial training academy or college degree plan; however in-service training for veteran officers or prosecutors could be obtained as well. The first statement most administrators and managers across Texas make is about the cost for undertaking this type of education process, rightfully so. The answer is that most of the time, the education is free. There are many resources, such as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the departments regional Council of Governments (COG), and Keeping Texas Beautiful (KTB) that will come to a department and teach the course, and provide books, training materials, and guides to assist in investigating and prosecuting these crimes. Many other resources are available to aid in this process, and the benefit to the community is endless.



Enviornmental law, Offenses against the enviornment, Evidence, criminal