RALEIGH — Seven cadets, including one assigned to Bladen County, were sworn in as wildlife officers by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission a graduation ceremony held at Campbell University on Thursday.
After 13 weeks of rigorous training, each officer took an oath to enforce conservation and boating laws and to assist those who enjoy wildlife-related recreation and outdoor activities across the state.
The seven new wildlife officers now begin six months of on-the-job training under supervision of a veteran wildlife officer. Upon completion of field training, each officer will be assigned a permanent duty station.
The graduating officers are:
— Devin Dwight Layne of Sanford (training in Bladen County)
— Brandon Robert Bonner of Jackson Springs (training in Martin County)
— Philip Matthew Fulmer of Morganton (training in Rowan County)
— William Bradley Jordan of Statesville (training in Pender County)
— Eric Todd McManus of Concord (training in Harnett County)
— Justin Tyler Owenby of Taylorsville (training in Craven County)
— Jake Ashley Thompson of Albemarle (training in Perquimans County)
“I congratulate each of these new officers for their efforts and achievements,” said Col. Jon Evans, chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “They now begin their law enforcement careers as the public face of our agency and ambassadors for the values that we stand for.”
All wildlife officer candidates are required to pass an extensive background, psychological and physical screening prior to entering an intensive accredited academy conducted by the Law Enforcement Division, with the majority of training held at the N.C. Justice Academy in Salemburg. Officers complete conservation-specific training on fish and wildlife laws, motorboat accident investigation and protected species. Instruction covers statutory and investigation procedures, defensive tactics, fish and game laws and pursuit driving and boating.
The Commission is accepting applications for 20 Wildlife Enforcement Officer positions through July 15. For more information, see Careers in Wildlife Enforcement at www.ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0101.