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Environmental Investigator

R22

Basic Purpose

Positions in this job family are assigned duties involving the investigation of environmental crimes including but not limited to the unlawful disposal of solid wastes, water pollution, air pollution, and the unlawful transportation, disposal or abandonment of hazardous wastes.  This includes coordinating investigations with other environmental and law enforcement agencies.

Typical Functions

The functions within this job family will vary by level, but may include the following:

  • Investigates felonies and misdemeanors related to the environment.

  • Maintains surveillance of alleged criminal activity.

  • Interviews witnesses and suspects to obtain facts and evidence from the scene.

  • Collects and preserves samples and evidence from the scene; maintains related records.

  • Gathers, analyzes and evaluates information collected; prepares written reports of all investigations.

  • Plans and directs concerted efforts by individuals and organizations to apprehend violators of the Oklahoma Environmental Quality Code, the Environmental Crimes Act, and related state or federal statutes, and coordinates with and directs and assists other local, state, and federal agencies in the enforcement of appropriate laws and in providing for public safety.

  • Prepares investigative prosecutorial reports; advises and assists prosecutors in filing charges; drafts and executes legal documents for use in criminal investigations, including subpoenas, search warrants, arrest warrants, affidavits, and court orders; appears as a witness in court proceedings; assists grand juries by serving subpoenas and assembling witnesses.

  • Conducts or attends law enforcement, hazardous materials and environmental seminars and workshops and in-service training; studies professional literature related to new investigative techniques and procedures; studies legal materials related to court decisions and state and federal laws; may participate as an instructor in providing law enforcement training for the Counsel on Law Enforcement Education and Training or for other law enforcement officers or agencies.

  • Provides law enforcement assistance to other local, state, and federal agencies when requested.

Level Descriptors

The Environmental Investigator job family has four levels which are distinguished by the complexity of assignments, the level of expertise required to perform the duties assigned, and the responsibility for providing leadership to others.

Level I: Code: R22A Salary Band: K

At this level, employees perform professional work performing a wide-range of tasks in conducting various types of environmental investigations, interviewing witnesses, collecting and analyzing evidence, and other related duties to assist in the investigation of various crimes or other incidents.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities  required at this level include knowledge of modern criminal and other investigative techniques; of state and federal laws pertaining to the Oklahoma Environmental Quality Code; of Oklahoma law pertaining to environmental crimes; of search and seizure, arrest procedures and rules of evidence; of field sampling methods related to the collection of environmental or waste samples; of public relations pertaining to investigative activities; of recent court decisions affecting law enforcement; of basic math; of basic English, grammar, and sentence structure; of accounting and business records; and of the basic elements of computers and usage of computer software.  Ability is required to conduct several investigations simultaneously; to gather, interpret and evaluate information and evidence obtained; to collect samples; to maintain a chain of control over evidence collected; to collect information through observation and interviews and interrogations of witnesses and suspects; to apply knowledge acquired through training; to conduct several investigations simultaneously; to present clear and accurate court testimony; to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others; to organize and present facts and opinions clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; to speak in public; to operate computers and computer software; to handle confidential work with tact and discretion; and to travel or work long or unusual hours with short notice.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement, criminal justice, behavioral science, environmental science, or a related field and  four years of professional  experience in criminal investigative, environmental investigative,  or environmental enforcement work, or a master’s degree in law enforcement, criminal justice, behavioral science, environmental science, or a related field and three years of professional experience in criminal investigative or environmental investigative or enforcement work, or an equivalent combination of education and experience substituting one additional year of experience for each year of the required education.

Level II: Code: R22B Salary Band: L

At this level, employees are assigned responsibility at the full performance level in completing a broad range of general criminal and other investigations.  This will include independent responsibility for conducting investigations of major environmental crimes and offenses or participating as a member of a team in covert investigations, raids, surveillance, or other activities, and performing other essential functions associated with the position.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level I plus knowledge of the use of deadly force and less-than-lethal force; of firearms safety practices and training methods; of crime scene processing and proper evidence handling, and of public relations pertaining to investigative activities.  Ability is required to organize and conduct several investigations simultaneously, to tactfully secure compliance with applicable state laws, and to maintain undercover identity while preserving integrity.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level I plus one additional year of qualifying professional experience.

Level III: Code: R22C Salary Band: M

At this level, employees are assigned responsibility for supervising and conducting investigations of environmental crimes, including planning, directing, and coordinating investigatory programs within the agency and across jurisdictional lines.  Employees will plan, evaluate, and provide training programs for investigators, program personnel, and law enforcement.  Incumbents are responsible for establishing and maintaining effective professional working relationships with law enforcement and prosecution officials.  This includes routinely visiting sheriffs, chiefs, district attorneys, and other law enforcement agencies; and regularly attending law enforcement association meetings and conferences.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level II plus additional knowledge of supervisory principles and practices and the ability to supervise several investigations simultaneously.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level II plus two additional years of qualifying professional experience.

Level IV: Code: R22D Salary Band: N

This is the leadership level of this job family, at which positions may be assigned responsibility for the supervision of Environmental Investigators and support staff, including reviewing and assigning work, providing training, and evaluating performance.  Some positions may provide direct supervision which includes additional responsibilities for employee development, approving leave, and initiating disciplinary actions, as well as performing related administrative functions.  Employees at this level are also responsible for establishing and maintaining a close professional working relationship with  law enforcement and prosecutorial officials and with various internal agency staff members.  They may attend law enforcement association meetings and conferences; and may provide information to legislators, legislative staff, and legislative committees.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level III plus knowledge of state personnel and budget practices; of public relations; of media relations; of the state legislative process; and of management and leadership principles and practices.  Ability is required to develop, implement, manage, and evaluate agency goals, objectives, programs and projects; to analyze, interpret, and resolve personnel and management problems; to prepare budgets; and to manage the activities of investigative, technical and support personnel.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level III plus two additional years of qualifying professional experience.

There is no substitution allowed for the required professional experience.

Special Requirements

Statutory Requirement 27A O.S. Supp. 1993, Section 2-3-501D states:  “The Executive Director may appoint commissioned peace officers, certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, to investigate environmental crimes.”

Applicants must possess the ability and willingness to travel frequently and be away from home for extended periods of time; be willing to be on call twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week; the willingness to carry a firearm and use deadly force or less-than-lethal force as required; must have and maintain the physical and mental stamina required to perform the duties of the position and to accept the physical discomforts and/or dangers inherent in the work; ability to successfully complete and maintain any necessary training and certification required by the agency, including CLEET Basic Law Enforcement Certification;  pass a thorough character and background investigation if required; and successfully pass a polygraph examination, a drug screen, and a psychological evaluation if required.  Subsequent to an offer of employment, applicant may be required by the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System or CLEET to satisfy medical examination and/or physical fitness testing standards or requirements. 

The federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 contained an amendment of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968.  This amendment addresses misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence.  Applicants must be able to satisfy the limitations contained in this federal law.

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