Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DNR Begins Training Officers of the Thin Green Line

Nine conservation officer candidates will begin training today as part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Conservation Officer Academy.

It's the first Conservation Officer Academy since 2008, and the 13th class since academy training began at Camp Ripley in 1994. Currently, 20 of DNR's 155 conservation officer field stations are vacant.

The academy curriculum includes 12 weeks training in fish and wildlife laws, rules of evidence, patrol procedures, search and rescue, and fish and wildlife investigation.

Upon graduation, the new conservation officers spend 16 weeks in field training with a veteran conservation officer before being assigned their first station.

Conservation officers ensure the future of natural resources opportunities through responsible enforcement of wildlife laws, regulations and rules. A typical work station covers 650 square miles, so conservation officers usually work alone and cover extensive and often remote areas.

Among the candidates is Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Deputy Mitchell Lawler.

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