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Salute!

Game wardens graduate, this time with state park police cadets.          

By Stephanie Salinas



After seven months of training, the 59th Texas game warden cadet class graduated in July, with a new twist. This year marks the first time game wardens and state park police officers trained and graduated together in the same cadet class.

Following their preparation at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden Training Center in Hamilton County, the 23 newly commissioned peace officers were recognized during a special ceremony at the state Capitol.

“Since 1895, game wardens have played an integral part in public safety and conservation law enforcement in Texas,” said Col. Craig Hunter, law enforcement director for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We are excited that this graduation marks the first academy where Texas game wardens trained with state park police officers, and congratulate these officers as they embark in the most rewarding careers in law enforcement.”

The graduates will begin their new careers stationed in counties and state parks throughout the state.

Game warden duties include the enforcement of all state laws, primarily hunting, fishing and water safety regulations. As fully commissioned peace officers, they respond to emergencies, assist other law enforcement agencies and work to educate the public about conservation issues.

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One of the new graduates, Jordan Favreau, said he has always loved the outdoors and always wanted to be in law enforcement. “I thought that being a game warden might be the perfect fit,” he said.

He got a close-up look at game warden duties when he worked as a TPWD law enforcement intern in 2013. The drowning of a boy at Cedar Hill State Park was a turning point for him. He accompanied the game wardens to the park and watched as they assisted in pulling the boy out of the water. “Game wardens are out there protecting the public,” Favreau said, mentioning game warden efforts in water safety. “I know you can’t save the world, but if you can save even one life, you can make a difference. That’s when it clicked for me.”

State park police, also commissioned peace officers, provide law enforcement services to the visitors and users of state parks, and help enforce laws within their local jurisdictions.

“It is a distinct honor and a historic milestone for this first group of Texas State Park Police cadets to graduate from the Texas Game Warden Academy,” said Brent Leisure, director of state parks.

All graduates met the state-mandated requirements for peace officer certification, including criminal and constitutional law, firearms, self-defense, use of force, defensive driving, arrest, search and seizure, ethics and first aid.

The cadet class had 878 applicants.

The new wardens and park police are joining the 532 game wardens and 180 park police officers currently in the field.

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