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§20-1-13. Law enforcement and legal services.

The director shall select and designate a competent and qualified person to be the chief natural resources police officer, who has the title of colonel and who is responsible for the prompt, orderly and effective enforcement of all of the provisions of this chapter. Under the supervision of the director and subject to personnel qualifications and requirements otherwise prescribed in this chapter, the chief natural resources police officer is responsible for the selection, training, assignment, distribution and discipline of natural resources police officers and the effective discharge of their duties in carrying out the law-enforcement policies, practices and programs of the division in compliance with the provisions of article seven of this chapter and other controlling laws. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, natural resources police officers are authorized to enter into and upon private lands and waters to investigate complaints and reports of conditions, conduct, practices and activities considered to be adverse to and violative of the provisions of this chapter and to execute writs and warrants and make arrests thereupon.

The Attorney General and his or her assistants and the prosecuting attorneys of the several counties shall render to the director, without additional compensation, legal services as the director may require of them in the discharge of his or her duties and the execution of his or her powers under and his or her enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. The director, in an emergency and with prior approval of the Attorney General, may employ an attorney to act in proceedings wherein criminal charges are brought against personnel of the department because of action in line of duty. For the attorney services, a reasonable sum, not exceeding $2,500, may be expended by the director in any one case.

The director, if he or she considers the action necessary, may request the Attorney General to appoint an assistant attorney general, who shall perform, under the supervision and direction of the Attorney General, the duties as may be required of him or her by the director. The Attorney General, in pursuance of the request, may select and appoint an assistant attorney general to serve at the will and pleasure of the Attorney General, and the assistant shall receive a salary to be paid out of any funds made available for that purpose by the Legislature to the department.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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