Seventeen cadets have completed more than 700 hours of intensive training to become wildlife officers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The group studied at the H.C. “Red” Morris Training Center east of Mayflower on Lake Conway. Graduation ceremonies were held Oct. 26 at the State Capitol.
Major Jason Parker directs the cadet-training program, with many AGFC enforcement officers and staff members serving as instructors. Other experts participate in the teaching of specialized topics. The 17 cadets were chosen from several hundred applicants. Requirements for wildlife officer cadets include college degrees or law enforcement experience.
The 16-week training course includes police fundamentals related to wildlife work, training in proficiency with a variety of firearms, first aid and rescue basics, drug enforcement procedures and physical conditioning. The new wildlife officers have state commissions as officers with full police authority, as do the other wildlife officers of the AGFC.
Assignment of the new officers will fill several existing vacancies in the AGFC’s enforcement ranks. They will be assigned to wildlife officer positions across the state, working at first under experienced officers.
The 2012 graduates and their county assignments:
Brady Baker – Ouachita County
Scott Basham – Logan County
Logan Camden – Ashley County
Sean Canino – Poinsett County
Jonathon Coats – Jackson County
Jeff Dalton – Randolph County
Tim Gossett – Crawford County
Wade Grayson – Boone County
Jamie Jackson – Pope County
Landon Mills – Lincoln County
Jason Phillips – Jefferson County
Andy Smith – Crittenden County
Stephen Speer – Greene County
Keith Teague – Howard County
Robert Tibbit – Miller County
Tyler Webb – Yell County
Billy Williams – Franklin County