New Tech Aims To Help Oklahoma Game Wardens

Thursday, January 6th 2022, 10:23 pm


The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is adding what they call another level of protection for their game wardens out in the field. Oklahoma game wardens are now equipped with body-worn cameras. 

“Every interaction with the public they are required to turn them on,” said Nathan Erdman, the Chief Law Enforcement Officer with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. 

The body cameras are the size of a smartphone. Although game wardens have only been using them for one week, they already are seeing the benefits. 

“We’re scattered out from Cimarron County to Broken Bow and there are 114 wardens out in the field working everyday all year long,” he said. 

The Chief Law Enforcement Officer said the upgrade was necessary as a growing number of departments have them. 

“It was a prudent thing to do to get ahead of the curb instead of behind the curve,” said Erdman. 

The new cameras also function as a smart phone which allows wardens to upload video from the field. 

“Our game wardens don’t go into an office so that they can dock the cameras like most of these body camera systems are. These upload the footage to the cloud as soon as they have cellphone signal,” he said. 

Within five minutes of something happening, Erdman can review footage from his office. The game wardens are required to upload their video after their shifts. 

“It is a great advantage to us for public complaints that come in on our wardens. It stopped about six complaints already this year,” he said. 

Erdman said at first, his department was leery of having to wear body worn cameras but have since come around to the new technology. 

“Now that they have used them it has helped them more than it has ever hurt them, so they have been changing their minds pretty quick on these things,” he said. 

The cameras also have live-stream capability and location analytics which come in handy while out in the field. 


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