LEMIT Leads Environmental Enforcement Training

Project EnCriPT

Environmental Crime Program Training

To combat environmental hazards and public health threats across the country, the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) launched a free, online training program to strengthen civil and criminal enforcement efforts at the local, state and tribal levels.

Men in protective suits walk on the beach carrying biohazard bags.Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and located at Sam Houston State University (SHSU), the nationwide program will offer a wide range of courses for law enforcement officers, code enforcers, industry workers, sanitarians and others involved in the field. Called the Environmental Crime Program Training (Project EnCriPT), the program also will feature live regional training courses to provide hands-on experience in processing scenes involving potential hazardous materials.

“SHSU and LEMIT have established high standards in the areas of training and online education,” said Dr. Rita Watkins, Executive Director of LEMIT. “We are pleased to expand on the delivery of online training with the development of Project EnCriPT. Project EnCriPT is a dedicated online training venue with learning opportunities convenient for those needing environmental protection education. We are delighted that LEMIT is part of this initiative.”

Women checks a water specimen at a pond.Environmental issues are much more diverse, costly and under-enforced than most people realize, resulting in an estimated $20 to $40 billion in cleanup costs annually. Project EnCriPT will use leading experts in the field to train new and existing professionals in environmental enforcement.

LEMIT will offer online beginner and intermediate level training for professionals involved in environmental enforcement. In addition to the training, these agencies will form a network to share information, develop ideas, and provide guidance to the EPA on environmental policies.

Man in boots stands in an oil spill on the beachThe first online course available is “Ethics of Environmental Enforcement,” which identifies the ways in which unethical behavior by white collar criminals may affect the course of an inspection or investigation. The course will define ethics as it relates to enforcement professionals and promote a better understanding of environmental justice, ethic versus morals, and ethical issues face by professionals in the field.

The first live training course will be presented at Sam Houston State University in Texas on April 22-24 and will include classroom instruction and hands-on experience on how to process environmental cases.

Garbage dumped on the side of the road“We are so pleased to have been recognized as a center of excellence by a federal agency,” said Dr. David Webb, Assistant Director of LEMIT. “We expect to offer 30-40 online classes on the whole gamut of environmental crimes.”

Courses that will be
available in the near future include:

  • An Introduction to Environmental Investigation explores the ten basic components of basic environmental investigations.
  • A Road Map for Environmental Crime Investigations focuses on evaluating environmental crimes, identifying resources, developing partnership and promoting officer health and safety.
  • Illegal Dumping of Non-Hazardous Waste defines solid waste, identifies public perceptions, reviews the components of scene processing and discusses the documentation process.
  • Safety for Environmental Enforcement Inspectors involves operational and safety planning, tactics and techniques to mitigate threats, and site specific health and safety plans.

Resources are available in every state, like in the map puzzle pictured.The Project EnCriPT Web site also includes a wealth of information about environmental enforcement issues, such as state-by-state information on environmental laws as well as links to the EPA and other key environmental organizations.For more information or to register for trainings, visit www.lemitonline.org/environmental.

LEMIT is a nationally recognized institute offering premiere professional development opportunities in policing. Since 1989, LEMIT has served law enforcement agencies in Texas, including Police, Sheriffs, Constables, School and College Police, Alcohol Beverage Control Agents, District Attorneys and Attorney General Offices, and Emergency Management Coordinators. In addition to developing training for law enforcement, LEMIT recently developed an online forensic science certification training for high school teachers in Texas.

Member of The Texas State University System