A Day in the Life of Coconino NF Law Enforcement – Micah Penalva

I’m not too sure if there is such thing as an average day as a law enforcement officer. Each day can be wildly different from the previous. Over the average two months of internship I have done, there have been a wide variety of tasks completed.

Here’s a list of some of things we have done:

  • Patrol fire closures
  • Tow abandoned vehicles
  • Warn / Cite for extended camping and residential use
  • Warn for camp litter, and clean up trashed campsites
  • Help winch out drivers stuck in mud
  • Evidence disposal
  • Go to court
  • Educate / Warn / Cite for OHV laws
  • Oversee wild horse auction
  • Investigate trail vandalism
  • Investigate archaeological vandalism
  • Investigate large litter
  • Patrol day use areas

As you can see, there are plenty of things an LEO can get into on any given day. One of the more interesting days I have had was when we went in search of an abandoned vehicle.

There was a report of an abandoned vehicle far off of a very rough road, so we had to take the UTV out to try and track it down.

Hauling the UTV to the road.

Took us a while as you can imagine. It truly was in the middle of nowhere.

Abandoned vehicle

After locating, we relayed the coordinated to an off road towing company who later removed it from the forest.

Being able to remove abandoned vehicles / property is an important job LEOs have to help improve the longevity and availability of the forest.

Pictured above: Us towing another abandoned vehicle and trailer. While removing these, another recreational user was able to move into the newly vacated camping spot!

It is satisfying work being able to allow everyone to come use and enjoy the forest.

I am looking forward to doing more with the LEOs to help. improve and protect our nation’s forests!

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