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Release #55-10

May 26, 2010

For Information Contact:

Jerry Feaser

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GAME COMMISSION ENROLLS 28TH CLASS OF WCO CADETS


HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s 28th Class of Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Cadets recently took up residence at the agency’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation, which adjoins the headquarters building along Elmerton Avenue in Harrisburg.


The class, comprising 23 men and one woman, will undergo 49 weeks of training, including field duty with veteran officers, before graduation in March of 2011, which will mark the 75th Anniversary of the agency’s graduation of its first class of WCOs.


“The 24 individuals who made it into the 28th Class were chosen from a field of more than 900 applications,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “They now will be challenged to successfully complete the 49 weeks of intensive training. Those who pass will join a proud team of Wildlife Conservation Officers, and be entrusted by the public to protect and conserve Pennsylvania’s wildlife resources and habitats and enforce the state’s hunting and trapping laws.”


Cadets were selected through a series of written tests, interview boards and physical examinations. Training will include subjects such as: wildlife management; law enforcement; legal procedures; physical fitness; firearms proficiency; unarmed self-defense; land management practices; computer skills; conservation education; and public relations. Cadets will be evaluated throughout the weeks and required to meet stringent standards to continue.


Upon graduation, each cadet will be commissioned a Wildlife Conservation Officer and given an assignment within the Commonwealth. Following a probationary period of at least one year, the WCO’s performance will be evaluated and, if acceptable, he/she will be granted permanent status. Continued training will be required on a regular basis for certain skills, such as firearms proficiency and legal updates. Other advanced skills training may be offered on a voluntary basis.


Of the 24 individuals enrolled in this class, 13 have college or advanced degrees; six are veterans; nine have served as Deputy WCOs for the Game Commission; three had served as full-time Game Commission employees in other capacities; and two worked for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Other careers included probation and parole officers; security officers; construction foreman; cook; electrician; sales technician; utility line worker; business owner; corrections officer; forklift driver; bank customer services associate; counselor; sales manager; animal care technician; lawn care business crew leader; and aquatics specialist.


The minimum age of those enrolled is 24 years, the maximum is 50 years.


Officer cadets and their hometowns are: Steven Ace, Knox, Clarion County; Kevin Anderson, New Bloomfield, Perry County; Christopher Bergman, Monongahela, Washington County; Edward Berryman, Zionsville, Lehigh County; Ronda Bimber, Lucinda, Clarion County; Brandon Bonin, Patton, Cambria County; Daniel Bookser, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County; Matthew Chipego, Noxen, Wyoming County; Jeremy Coughenour, Berlin, Somerset County; Eric Erdman, Milton, Northumberland County; Gregory Graham, Lititz, Lancaster County; Lawrence Harris, Northampton, Northampton County; Kevin Halbfoerster, Bath, Northampton County; Kyle Jury, Halifax, Dauphin County; Jason Kelley, Rome, Bradford County; A. Wade Kramer, Lancaster, Lancaster County; Matthew Lucas, Ebensburg, Cambria County; Richard Macklem II, McElhatton, Clinton County; Daniel Murray, Elizabethtown, Lancaster County; Shawn Musser, New Cumberland, York County; Jacob Olexsak, Butler, Butler County; Michael Papinchak, Murrysville, Westmoreland County; Brian Singer, Clarks Summit, Lackawanna County; and Philip White, Bear Creek, Luzerne County.


The Game Commission has budgeted nearly $2 million to train these 24 individuals, who will help fill vacant districts throughout the state. The agency anticipates that there may be as many as 31 vacant districts before the class graduates in March.
 

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Already posted in the general thread and a bunch of posts from non thinkers deleted as well.
 

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I'm actually kind of happy.One guy used to work with me and we hunted together a few times.He gave me a doe he harvested.
 

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awesome!!! congrats to all of them!!!


only thing i have to say, if i was a law enforcement officer, i wouldnt really want my name and hometown posted online and the agency im working for....

its one thing to know "oh he works in forest county" but its another to know he lives in the town of Tionesta...


odd age requirements as well....John or anyone know why its 24 or older? and less than 50?? most LE is 21 or older and i know many say you gotta be in by 37...i know the work is/can be very strenous and intensive..even more than most average LE jobs...surprised the age cutoff is so high...and the 24 or older throws me off?
 

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Since you bring that up Mauser I have to ask. When a WCO is assigned to a district and then their spouse goes through to become a WCO how does the PGC assign a district to both? I mean, do they keep them in adjacent districts or put them where ever they need them?
 

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mauser06 said:
awesome!!! congrats to all of them!!!


only thing i have to say, if i was a law enforcement officer, i wouldnt really want my name and hometown posted online and the agency im working for....

its one thing to know "oh he works in forest county" but its another to know he lives in the town of Tionesta...


odd age requirements as well....John or anyone know why its 24 or older? and less than 50?? most LE is 21 or older and i know many say you gotta be in by 37...i know the work is/can be very strenous and intensive..even more than most average LE jobs...surprised the age cutoff is so high...and the 24 or older throws me off?
It is 21 that was the age range of the current class of Cadets.

As fare as your name and hometown, its no big deal, most locals know who you are and where you live in a few short months after you are assigned a district.
When you issue a citation you have a few choices for station address, you can rent a P.O Box at your own expense, you can use the Regional Office address but that delays mail. Or you can do as I do and use your home address. I am always preaching that sportsmen need to stand up to the outlaws, wouldnt set a good example if I hid from them now would it.
 

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JasonN said:
Since you bring that up Mauser I have to ask. When a WCO is assigned to a district and then their spouse goes through to become a WCO how does the PGC assign a district to both? I mean, do they keep them in adjacent districts or put them where ever they need them?
If an adjacent district is open it is possible. However the PGC can assign your first district anywhere in the sate. After you do your probation year in your district you can then bid on other vacant districts.
 

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Thanks, just curious.
 

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One of them is HPA's own motorboatin' Lifes2Fun Shawn Musser, New Cumberland!

Good Luck and Congrats Shawn!
 

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Re: GAME COMMISSION ENROLLS 28TH CLASS OF WCO CADE

I had the opportunity to assist in the training of three of the cadets on Tuesday when they learned how to process the bear I provided for that training. We had ten bears there for them to work with so they all got a good bit of hands on experience.

Then yesterday LMO Dzemyan and I had them all afternoon on a tour of the deer exclosures on the game lands in my district. I then lead them on a tour of the old “Ross Leffler School of Conservation” location near Brockway.

In the time I have spent with them I can tell that there are some quality people in the class that are going to make great WCOs. I suspect I will get a lot more insight into a couple of them this fall serving as their Field Training Officer.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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Re: GAME COMMISSION ENROLLS 28TH CLASS OF WCO CADE

 

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WCO said:
mauser06 said:
awesome!!! congrats to all of them!!!


only thing i have to say, if i was a law enforcement officer, i wouldnt really want my name and hometown posted online and the agency im working for....

its one thing to know "oh he works in forest county" but its another to know he lives in the town of Tionesta...


odd age requirements as well....John or anyone know why its 24 or older? and less than 50?? most LE is 21 or older and i know many say you gotta be in by 37...i know the work is/can be very strenous and intensive..even more than most average LE jobs...surprised the age cutoff is so high...and the 24 or older throws me off?
It is 21 that was the age range of the current class of Cadets.

As fare as your name and hometown, its no big deal, most locals know who you are and where you live in a few short months after you are assigned a district.
When you issue a citation you have a few choices for station address, you can rent a P.O Box at your own expense, you can use the Regional Office address but that delays mail. Or you can do as I do and use your home address. I am always preaching that sportsmen need to stand up to the outlaws, wouldnt set a good example if I hid from them now would it.
Sorry Rich,

I have to disagree. If I'm away from home for a year in training and own my home, I certainly wouldn't want everyone knowing where I live.

Has the potential to make that person an easy target for a robbery.

After they are done with class, then they can make up their own mind if they want their personal information public or not.

JMO; however.
 

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Met Jake two months ago, when he came out to our club meeting with our WCO.

Tried to suck him into asking the "schoolmarm" some questions on bear darting, when that subject came up during the training, but the reaction from our WCO clued him in about that subject. Jake said he guessed he'd pass on my suggestion.

 
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