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Should They Be Armed? Governor Receives Task Force Report on Maine’s Natural Resources Law Enforcement

Some legislative leaders in Augusta support arming Maine’s Forest Rangers. Photo, Susan Patten, Townsquare Media

As part of their research, the Governor’s Task Force on Review of Needs, Resources and Opportunities for Efficiency among Natural Resource Law Enforcement, surveyed other states to see if their forest rangers were armed.

The task force received responses back from 31 states and that information is part of the 15 page report presented to Governor Paul LePage at the end of last week.

Task Force Chair, Public Safety Commissioner John Morris, says the task force could not reach a consensus on arming the Forest Rangers, but did reach a compromise and the recommendation to the Governor and legislature is to arm the Rangers over a period of time as per the discretion of the Commissioner of Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Commissioner Morris says the price tag associated with the three options presented in the report range from 25-thousand dollars, to as much as 2-million.

The report and recommendations will be considered by the legislature when they return to Augusta in January.

The report covers several areas of efficiency the three agencies can implement which have nothing to do with whether or not the Rangers ultimately wind up armed.

Maine Public Safety Task Force Report

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