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FWC Among the First of Five U.S. Agencies to Seek Accreditation from the North American Wildlife Law Enforcement Accreditation Program

Florida - Thursday March 14, 2024: Continuing its record of dedication to the preservation and protection of Florida’s natural resources, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement announces it will be one of the first five agencies joining Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Virginia in the pursuit of accreditation in the North American Wildlife Law Enforcement Accreditation program.

The mission of the FWC Division of Law Enforcement is to protect Florida's natural resources and people through proactive and responsive law enforcement services. NAWLEA develops and establishes standards for professionalism and effectiveness in protecting natural resources. The formal mechanism it provides will enable the FWC to systematically and objectively measure, evaluate and update its success.

“We recognize the importance of public confidence in conservation law enforcement,” said Col. Brian Smith, director of the FWC Division of Law Enforcement. “Earning this accreditation will serve as a testament to FWC’s dedication to transparency, professionalism and the highest standards of service for the people of Florida.”

The accreditation process will not only enhance FWC’s wildlife conservation law enforcement capabilities but also contribute to the overall improvement of the profession. There are approximately 70 standards that must be met and the goals established by NAWLEA include:

  • Increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of natural resource law enforcement agencies in the delivery of services.
  • Promoting cooperation and coordination among all components in the criminal justice system and the communities served.
  • Ensuring appropriate training for natural resource law enforcement personnel.
  • Promoting public confidence in natural resource law enforcement.
  • Elevating the professionalism of law enforcement agencies involved in the NAWLEA process. 

The North American Wildlife Law Enforcement Accreditation program plays a vital role in advancing the natural resources law enforcement profession. By establishing and maintaining rigorous standards, NAWLEA ensures that agencies across North America adhere to best practices, fostering a culture of excellence and accountability. For more information about NAWLEA, visit