COLUMBUS – Eleven new state wildlife officers for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) were sworn in at a ceremony at the District One Wildlife Office in Columbus. The 11 state wildlife officers were hired from a pool of more than 650 applicants.
Wildlife officers have statewide jurisdiction to enforce wildlife regulations, investigate allegations of waterway pollution, protect state property and make arrests. They conduct educational programs, perform fish and wildlife management duties and advise landowners on dealing with wildlife. Wildlife officers also serve an important role as a point of contact with law enforcement and other agencies on topics of mutual interest, providing assistance and expertise.
Following their completion of the Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training course on May 4, the officers completed eight weeks of intense specialized training by the Division of Wildlife. In addition to wildlife law enforcement procedures and agency policies, the cadets received training in areas of wildlife and fish management, communications, ATV and watercraft operation, hunter safety and advanced firearms and self-defense topics.
The new officers will continue training by working with experienced officers in their area of assignment for the next six months.
The 11 new Ohio wildlife officer and their assignments are listed below:
Jeffrey Berry, 44, Zanesville, state wildlife officer assigned to Muskingum County;
Aaron Brown, 31, Wellington, state wildlife officer assigned to Summit County;
Joshua Elster, 30, Williamsport, state wildlife officer assigned to Pickaway County;
Jesse Janosik, 21, Warren, state wildlife officer assigned to Cuyahoga County;
Augustus Kiebel, 23, Alexandria, state wildlife officer assigned to Clermont County;
Justus Nethero, 22, Dublin, state wildlife officer assigned to Delaware County;
Craig Porter II, 23, Cadiz, state wildlife officer assigned to Jefferson County;
Markus Schemmel II, 22, Saint Marys, state wildlife officer assigned to Adams County;
Ryan Schock, 24, Beavercreek, state wildlife officer assigned to Hamilton County;
Vincent Untied, 23, Granville, state wildlife officer assigned to Morrow County; and
Eric VonAlmen, 26, Columbus Grove, state wildlife officer assigned to Lucas County.
For more information on how to become a state wildlife officer or about Division of Wildlife programs, wildlife areas and district office locations, go to www.wildohio.com