The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife has announced the commencement of the 32nd Ohio Wildlife Officer Training Academy. This year’s academy is set to prepare 14 cadets, chosen from a pool of 993 applicants, to become the next generation of wildlife officers. These officers will play a crucial role in the conservation of Ohio’s wildlife resources and public service.
Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker expressed pride in the new cadets, stating, “Wildlife officers are essential for the conservation of Ohio’s wildlife resources and to serve the public. These cadets are receiving top-notch training and will soon be in the field. We are proud to have such dedicated individuals serving sportsmen and women.”
The selected cadets will undergo a comprehensive 21-week Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training, followed by 8-10 weeks of specialized training from the Division of Wildlife. This training will equip them with essential skills in law enforcement procedures, wildlife and fisheries management, communications, ATV and vehicle operations, advanced firearms, and self-defense.
Four of the cadets, namely Almeter, Ehrnfield, Phenicie, and Stachler, who have prior law enforcement experience and academy training, will be directly assigned to wildlife district operations.
Ohio wildlife officers are more than just law enforcement agents; they are the guardians of the state’s lands, waterways, and properties. With statewide authority to enforce wildlife regulations, they contribute to public safety in their local areas and Ohio’s great outdoors.
Their responsibilities extend beyond enforcement. They engage with hundreds of clubs and groups, educating them about conservation and wildlife programs. They also perform fish and wildlife conservation duties and provide technical advice and instruction on wildlife management issues, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor-related recreation.
For those inspired by the mission of the Ohio wildlife officers and interested in joining their ranks, information on the Division of Wildlife and its programs is available at wildohio.gov. Detailed insights into becoming an Ohio Wildlife Officer can be found at ohiodnr.gov/careers.
The newest Ohio wildlife officers will graduate in April 2024 and be assigned to individual counties or serve in an at-large capacity in the wildlife districts. Among them is Lucas Wildman of Delaware, ready to embark on a journey to protect and preserve Ohio’s natural heritage.
Source, Photo: ODNR