COLUMBUS — The 29th Ohio Wildlife Officer Cadet Training Academy began on Monday, Aug. 13, for the 11 cadets hired from a pool of more than 550 applicants. The cadets will complete more than six months of training before becoming state wildlife officers, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
State wildlife officers have statewide authority to enforce wildlife regulations and protect state lands, waterways and property. As state law enforcement officers, they contribute to public safety both in their local areas and in Ohio’s vast outdoors. Each year, Ohio’s state wildlife officers speak to hundreds of clubs and groups about conservation and wildlife programs; perform fish and wildlife surveys; and provide technical advice and instruction about hunting, fishing and other outdoor-related recreation.
Cadets who require state law enforcement certification will complete approximately 23 weeks of Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training and then all cadets will receive an additional eight weeks of specialized training by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Training includes law enforcement procedures and agency policies, wildlife and fisheries management, communications, ATV operations, hunter safety, and advanced firearms and self-defense topics. The cadets will graduate in March 2019.
The state wildlife officer cadets are: Ethan J. Bingham of Wauseon; Michele E. Butler of Sandusky; Nathan J. Cass of Galion; Levi M. Farley of Antwerp; Evan J. Huegel of Westfield Center; Antoinette M. Jolliff of Cardington; Matthew J. Madgar of Cuyahoga Falls; Ryan M. Pawlus of Mantua; John J. Sisson of Pomeroy; Brock P. Williamson of Bucyrus and Houston J. Wireman of Wapakoneta.
For information on how to become a state wildlife officer, visit www.wildohio.gov.