The Eco Patrol of the Municipal Guard

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The Eco Patrol of the Municipal Guard has been helping animals for 15 years now. Fot. R.Motyl
The Eco Patrol of the Municipal Guard has been helping animals for 15 years now. Fot. R.Motyl

The first environmental patrol was sent out in the autumn of 2001 in the Ursynów District. At first only two officers were assigned to it, and they only intervened in that area.

The first Eco Patrol helped approx. 300 animals in the Ursynów District within a year. The needs, however, were much greater. Therefore, in 2003 the Eco Patrol expanded to other districts – Wilanów and Mokotów. Two years later, animal welfare was upheld by eight Eco Patrols, which operated in the whole of the city. At the beginning of 2006, a task force for environmental matters was created, which was subsequently assigned more officers, who were provided with specialist equipment for aiding animals by the Warsaw Environmental Protection Department. Finally, the task force was transformed into the present Environmental Unit.

The Eco Patrol 15 years later
The Environmental Unit currently has 46 officers, who are well trained and prepared for working with animals. They have 11 special patrol cars at their disposal, customised to carry animals and equipped with grippers, cages, transporters and nets.

Thousands of interventions, thousands of caught animals
The number of interventions is increasing every year. In 2015, Eco Patrol Officers intervened more than 16,000 times and helped 9,145 animals. In the first eight months of 2016 alone, their assistance was required more than 12,500 times. In that period, they helped 7,611 animals. Their help is increasingly needed, with exotic animals, such as pythons, monitor lizards, chameleons, agamas and even axolotls, appearing in the city. They also support other services and institutions, including the Police, the State Fire Service, the District Veterinary Office and the Urban Forestry Department.