MAYFLOWER (AGFC) – Fifteen 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 for the 2011 cadet class was Thursday, April 28, at the State Capitol.
Lt. 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 16 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 2011 graduates and their county assignments are:
Sam Adams, Cross County
Jake Dunn, Benton County
Troy Faughn, Phillips County
Epp Fletcher, Sebastian County
Chris Holt, Poinsett County
Clay Hungate, Logan County
Jim Pennington, Jefferson County
Dusty Kirkpatrick, Pope County
Arnold Leon, Lee County
Block Meyer, Cross County
Jeff McMullin, Craighead County
Steve Paul, Nevada County
Tim Shaw, Yell County
Whit Whitaker, Lafayette County
Brad Young, Cleveland County