MAYFLOWER, Ar (AGFC) - Seventeen cadets have completed over 900 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 for the 2009 cadet class took place on Thursday, May 21 at the State Capitol.
Maj. Terry McGuire and Lt. Jason Parker direct the cadet-training program, with many other commission enforcement officers and other 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 20-week training course includes police fundamentals as 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 150-plus wildlife officers of the AGFC.
Assignment of the new officers will fill several existing vacancies in the Commission's enforcement ranks. They will be assigned to wildlife officer positions around the state, working at first under experienced officers.
The 2009 graduates, hometowns and their county assignments are: