Conservation Officers across the province are looking forward to being connected to a central dispatch service that will allow them to respond to the POACHERS TIPS line call ins in real time, beginning in July.  

The announcement was made at the newly re-opened Conservation Office in Brandon this past Wednesday.

Director of emergency communications, Brandon Public-Safety Communications Centre, Robert Stewart, said officer safety is a high priority for our well-trained staff of dispatchers and call-takers, so extending this protection to conservation officers is a natural step for both organizations.

The Brandon Public-Safety Communications Centre dispatches all emergency call-ins, including police, fire and first-responders throughout the province.  "The Public-Safety Communications department of the City of Brandon is excited to be working with Manitoban's conservation officers," adds Stewart.

Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen joined Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt behind the podium at Wednesday's announcement in Brandon where he praised Minister Nesbitt for his dedication to advocate for the conservation officers of Manitoba and this service since taking his position in government. "He's been a tireless advocate for the importance of it, providing the proper equipment for it and ensuring that the resources are there for the services."

"Often Conservation officers, as Minister Nesbit mentioned, are in vast areas of Manitoba beyond our cities like Winnipeg and Brandon and other cities," shares Goertzen.  "They are in areas where there is nobody else around often, to communicate with." 

"That's important work but it can put them in a difficult situation, and so when we talk about public safety, it is more than just police officers.  It is more about entities like our conservation officers who are an important part of the chain of ensuring that we have public safety."

"That is part of the ability to try to ensure people are safe in their cities, in their smaller towns, and in that vast area in Manitoba, where there aren't as much population in those areas," he adds. "So, when they're out there in those vast areas and they need support, they can reach out for that support.  When they want to reach out to another form of law enforcement, they can do that, and they can get that service."

"It is about protecting us, as a community for sure," continues Minister Goertzen, "but it's also about protecting them."

Anyone with information on illegal hunting or fishing activities is asked to call the Turn in Poachers (TIP) line at 1-800-782-0076.  Your call will be dispatched to a Conservation Officer in your area.