|New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife|
November 6, 2000
On October 21, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife's Bureau of Law Enforcement provisionally appointed a total of nine full-time conservation officers in the northern, central, southern and marine regions of the state. The appointments are the result of efforts to increase the Division's number of conservation officers, which had suffered due to several retirements and position vacancies.
"Over the past few years, the Division has lost several excellent officers due to retirement and was forced to leave numerous positions vacant as a result of severe budget constraints," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "With funding gained through the recent hunting and fishing license fee increase, we are now able to bring the number of field officers up significantly from a bare-bones framework closer to full capacity. Filling these positions was a top priority."
After having successfully completed a rigorous interview process and screening, the cadets are presently attending the Bureau's six week in-service training academy where they will receive classes in arrest, search and seizure, defense tactics, fish and wildlife law enforcement statutes, court room testimony and other related topics. In addition, they will complete a mandatory 40-hour firearm qualification course for both handgun and shotgun.
After graduation from the bureau academy, each cadet will be assigned a certified field training officer for several weeks of instruction afield. In January, the individuals must attend a State-accredited Police Academy for the mandatory 22-week Police Training Commission Course. After the Police Academy, the conservation officers will once again report to their respective field training officer to complete a one-year probationary period.
Cadets Frank Panico, Shannon Martiak, Douglas Applegate, Adam Sennick and Steve Losey have been assigned to the Northern Region; Thomas O'Rourke will patrol the Central Region; Zane Batten will police the Southern Region; and Jean Mutone and Jason Snellbaker have been assigned to the Marine Region.
All conservation officers must possess the minimum requirement of a Bachelor of Science Degree in biology or related science with 18 credits in environmental science, plus one year's experience in law enforcement, wildlife or environmental science. Division conservation officers possess full police powers within the State of New Jersey.