(UNDATED) – The Department of Natural Resources Division of Law Enforcement added eight new Indiana Conservation Officers during graduation ceremonies Thursday at the Indiana Government Center South in Indianapolis.
Conservation Officer Jim Schreck, the 2019 James D. Pitzer Officer of the Year, administered the oath of office to the recruits, who will fill positions in various locations around the state.
“This is a day all Indiana Conservation Officers remember for the rest of their career,” said Col. Steve Hunter, division director. “It is a culmination of all the hard work and sacrifice these officers have made over the past year.”
The new officers represent the 38th recruit class of Indiana Conservation Officers, the oldest state law enforcement agency in Indiana.
The officers and assignment locations, by county, are Nathan Cooper (Blackford), Conner Henderson (Johnson), Cole Hollingsworth (Wayne), Hunter Loller (Marion), Christopher Long (Ohio), Kaley McDonald (Monroe), Jason Neal (Howard), and Isaac Saxton (Allen).
The new officers underwent four weeks of initial core values training followed by a 15-week basic law enforcement academy. Upon completion of the academy, officers then completed an additional nine weeks of essential training before completing 90 shifts of field training.
The DNR employs 214 conservation officers who, in addition to enforcing state laws, are often called upon to help during emergencies and natural disasters. Conservation officers also engage in outdoor instructional programs, including boater, hunter, snowmobile, and trapper education. Specialty response units that are available statewide through DNR Law Enforcement include river rescue, cave rescue, underwater search and recovery, and K-9 teams.