DNR law enforcement officers help keep counties safe, too

Jim McCarthy
DNR Law Enforcement Officer Jim McCarthy (second from left) received his special commission status from Pacific County. He is joined by DNR Law Enforcement Chief Larry Raedel, Pacific County Sheriff Scott Johnson, and other officials.

At a brief ceremony this morning, DNR Law Enforcement Officer Jim McCarthy formally received his special commission from Pacific County. DNR Law Enforcement Officers receive these special commissions to allow them to enforce the law within a county when they are not on DNR-managed land. McCarthy was appointed in August by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. A 25-year veteran of the Washington Highway Patrol, McCarthy enforces state laws and safety regulations on State trust lands in several Western Washington counties including Pacific County. His patrol area includes thousands of acres of state trust lands and conservation areas.

Washington state law classifies DNR Law Enforcement Officers as ‘limited authority’ Washington peace officers, which means they primarly detect or apprehend violators in areas of the law under their agencies’ jurisdiction. Others in this category include peace officers working for the Department of Corrections, Parks and Recreation Commission, and State Liquor Control Board among others. City police and county sheriff’s deputies are among those classified as ‘general authority’ officers, commissioned to enforce the criminal laws of the state generally.

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