Florida Adds 12 New Game Wardens

“Passionate” is a fitting word to describe the most recent additions to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement.

When the 20th FWC law enforcement class graduated Friday morning at the Florida Public Safety Institute near Tallahassee in front of friends, family and fellow law enforcement officials, they pledged to keep Florida a healthy, safe and beautiful place to live and recreate.

“Protecting our state’s natural resources and people is a noble cause,” said Col. Jim Brown, director of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “It takes a passion for that cause to be able to ensure people have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.”

These officers received their law enforcement certification prior to being hired by the FWC. While most FWC officers attend a six-month academy on basic law enforcement details and skills, these attended the final, eight-week portion of the academy. There, they learned the unique information and skills needed to be an FWC officer.

“We are very pleased with the dedication and enthusiasm that these graduates already displayed during their specialized academy,” Brown said.

Their training included accuracy with firearms, wildlife identification, vessel operation, defensive tactics, all-terrain vehicle operation, BUI/DUI detection and a focus on state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws.

“These 12 individuals will now join a special group as they face the challenging and rewarding path ahead,” Brown said.

As FWC officers, they will patrol Florida’s waters and lands, including state parks and forests. These officers will be protecting the “Fishing Capital of the World” and one of the largest public hunting systems in the country. In addition to enforcing all state laws, FWC officers are authorized to enforce federal fisheries and wildlife laws.

“They will educate and work with the public to preserve the resources that belong to all of us,” Brown said.

The graduates will spend the next three months with a field-training officer and are assigned as follows:

Robert Cabanas, Dionis Delgado – Miami-Dade

John Dombek – Indian River

Christopher Fiedler, Mario Menchaca – Polk

Douglas Krieger – Monroe

David LaFoy – Okeechobee

Nicholas Bohne, Dustin Lightsey, Danielle Munkelt – Brevard

Matthew Stuhr – Nassau

Jonathan Wright – Broward