Tag Archives: California Wildlife Officer Academy

Wildlife Officer Cadet Application Deadline Rapidly Approaching

Do you have a love of the outdoors and a passion for fish and wildlife conservation? The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division (LED) is currently accepting applications for Wildlife Officer (Warden) Cadet. All prospective applicants must submit a warden cadet application by Sept. 30, 2018 to be considered for the 2020 law enforcement academy.

CDFW has posted answers to the most commonly asked questions about a career as a wildlife officer, along with other informational materials, on the LED webpage. All prospective candidates are encouraged to extensively review this information before applying.

CDFW wildlife officers are fully sworn California peace officers with a fundamental duty to serve and protect the public. Wildlife officers focus their efforts on enforcing the Fish and Game Code and regulations promulgated under that code, but they have the authority to enforce all California laws, including the Vehicle Code, Penal Code, Health and Safety drug laws and more. Most know how wildlife officers protect California fish and wildlife from poachers – but there’s much more! Wildlife officers protect our waterways and habitat from destruction, pollution and litter, provide the public with hunting and fishing information, and promote and coordinate hunter education and safe weapons handling.

Wildlife officers patrol the mountains, valleys, deserts, creeks, streams, rivers and up to 200 miles out to sea. They frequently work alone and cover both rural and urban areas. California’s diverse ecosystem spans 159,000 square miles divided into 58 counties, with a human population nearing 40 million. The state has 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers. Wildlife officers patrol utilizing trucks, ATVs, personal watercraft, boats, snowmobiles and airplanes, making contact with Californians in the great outdoors. Wildlife officers work undercover, conduct surveillances and complete in-depth investigations, including writing and serving search warrants. CDFW LED has numerous specialized teams and assignments including K-9, wildlife trafficking, marijuana eradication and watershed protection, marine patrol and oil spill prevention and response.

Annually, wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations for violations of the law.

Successful applicants for warden cadet will attend a Peace Officer Standards of Training (POST) certified law enforcement training academy, conducted by CDFW at Butte College, near Chico in northern California. Following the academy, probationary wildlife officers will work with a seasoned field training officer for several weeks, where they will learn to apply their training in practical circumstances.

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Media Contacts:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-9982
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

CDFW Law Enforcement Academy Graduates 23 Cadets, Adding 14 New Wildlife Officers to the Ranks

Twenty-three new law enforcement cadets graduated from the California Wildlife Officer Academy during ceremonies at the Performing Arts Center in Paradise on Aug. 12, 2016. The badge pinning and swearing-in ceremony included 12 sponsored warden cadets and two current peace officers who transferred as laterals from other agencies. These new wildlife officers have a few additional weeks of formal training before setting out on their first patrols with Field Training Officers (FTOs). The other 11 graduates were self-sponsored cadets who paid their way through the academy and are now eligible to apply for a wildlife officer position, or any other California law enforcement position. Three were already hired by the Butte County Sheriff’s Office as deputies.

“Our cadets and academy staff have worked extremely hard to develop the skills necessary to protect California’s fish and wildlife, and the public alike,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Chief of Enforcement David Bess. “I am confident they will serve our state well.”

CDFW’s Wildlife Officer Academy is certified through the California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and offers training consistent with every law enforcement agency in California. Field training with experienced FTOs is also mandated by POST to be sure new wildlife officers can apply the skills they learned during the academy to real life circumstances. FTO is the final stage of formal training. Upon successful completion, these officers will begin patrolling California to protect the natural resources of this great state.

Two veteran wildlife officers had the special honor of passing the torch to family members. Twenty-five year veteran wildlife officer Lieutenant Marty Wall pinned his son, Douglas Wall. “It’s a proud moment and a true honor to see your son follow in your footsteps, sharing your values and continuing your life’s commitment to protecting California’s wildlife,” said Lt. Wall.

Thirty-year veteran wildlife officer Lieutenant Sam Castillo also pinned a badge on his nephew, Daniel Castillo.

Annually, wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations. These officers primarily work alone, in remote areas, contacting subjects who almost always have some form of weapon, and they do so knowing that backup could be hours away. Wildlife officers have large patrol districts and great responsibilities, and frequently a sole officer will cover an entire county. The average California wildlife officer’s patrol district exceeds 500 square miles.

In 2008, CDFW teamed with Butte College to provide peace officer academy training for prospective wildlife officers. That partnership provided CDFW a state of the art POST-certified academy facility with 40 years of police training history.

CDFW anticipates the next round of warden cadet selection to begin in September or October of 2016, with the next academy beginning in January 2017. For more information about becoming a wildlife officer and the application timeline, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/enforcement/career.

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Media Contact:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982

CDFW Wildlife Officer Academy Graduates 30 Cadets

Media Contacts:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982
Cpt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-6692

Thirty new law enforcement cadets graduated from the California Wildlife Officer Academy during ceremonies at the Performing Arts Center in Paradise on Aug. 14, 2015. The graduating class includes 23 sponsored warden cadets who will begin field training immediately. Another seven self-sponsored cadets paid their way through the academy and will apply to become wildlife officers.

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Cadet William H. Castillo and his father, Lt. Sam Castillo, rejoice at the graduation ceremony.

“After 31 weeks of hard work at the academy, these cadets have earned the right to begin protecting California and ensuring the future of wildlife resources for the people of this great state,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Chief of Enforcement David Bess.

The CDFW Wildlife Officer Academy is certified through the California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and offers training consistent with every law enforcement agency in California.

For the 23 sponsored cadets, graduation concludes a rigorous 31 weeks of formal academy training, but marks the beginning of an additional three weeks of specialized training and certifications, followed by an additional 15 weeks of field training with seasoned field training officers (FTOs). Upon successful completion of the FTO program, these new officers will begin their incredible career patrolling California and protecting the fish and wildlife resources.

A special moment will occur during this year’s graduation, when Cadet William H. Castillo will be pinned by his father, Lt. Sam Castillo. Lt. Castillo is nearing retirement after a noteworthy ­­­30 year career as a wildlife officer and Lieutenant for CDFW. Lt. Castillo will pass the torch to his son to honor the commitment of all wildlife officers who dedicate their lives to protecting California’s natural resources.

Annually, wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations. Wardens mostly work alone, in remote areas, contacting subjects who nearly always have some form of weapon, and they do so knowing that backup could be hours away. Wardens cover large patrol districts, the average being more than 600 square miles. They do all this with a sense of pride and honor, for a job that is not only rewarding, but truly enjoyable.

In 2007, CDFW teamed with Butte College to provide peace officer academy training for prospective wardens. That partnership provided CDFW a state of the art academy facility and a POST-certified training program for wildlife officer cadets on the Butte College Oroville campus.

Butte College has a 40-year history of police recruit training. The 928-acre community college campus, the largest in California, is also a designated wildlife refuge.

CDFW anticipates the next round of warden cadet selection to begin in September or October of 2015, for the January 2017 academy. For more information about becoming a warden and to monitor when applications will be accepted, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/career/.

CDFW Wildlife Officer Academy Graduates 28 Cadets

Media Contacts:
Lt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-6692
Janice Mackey, CDFW Office of Communications, (916) 322-8908

Twenty-eight cadets graduated from the California Wildlife Officer Academy during ceremonies at the Performing Arts Center in Paradise, Calif. on Aug. 23, 2014. The graduating class included 17 sponsored warden cadets who will begin field training immediately. Another 11 self-sponsored cadets paid their way through the academy and have applied to become wildlife officers.

“Today’s wildlife officers have an intensive law enforcement component to their duties,” said Michael P. Carion, Chief of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division. “Thirty-one weeks of Academy training teaches them how to affect an arrest, maintain officer safety and many other skills.”

Chief Carion personally conducts two days of waterfowl investigation training for the cadets.

The CDFW Wildlife Officer Academy is certified through the California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and offers training consistent with every law enforcement agency in California.

The 17 sponsored cadets’ graduation ends 31 weeks of formal academy training, but marks the beginning of an additional three weeks of specialized training and certifications. That will be followed by an additional 15 weeks of field training with a seasoned field training officer (FTO). Upon successful completion of the FTO program, they will go on patrol to protect California’s fish and wildlife resources.

A special moment occurred during graduation when cadet Garreth Brown was awarded the Wildlife Officer Academy’s Greg Cook Award. Cook was the Academy’s first cadet training officer in 1987. He was later killed in a helicopter crash while investigating an oil spill in the Carquinez Strait. The Academy class itself votes to give this award to the fellow cadet who contributed the most to the success of the class as a whole. Brown’s father, recently retired CDFW Wildlife Officer Wilbur Brown, won the same award when he was a cadet. Later in the ceremony, Wilbur Brown pinned Garreth with his wildlife officer badge.

Annually, wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations. They often work alone and in remote areas that do not allow for immediate backup. In California, the average wildlife officer has a patrol district of more than 600 square miles.

CDFW teamed with Butte College in 2007 to provide peace officer training for prospective wardens. This partnership secured an academy facility and a POST-certified training program for wildlife officer cadets on the college’s Oroville campus.

Butte College has a 40-year history of police recruit training. The 928-acre community college campus, the largest in California, is also a designated wildlife refuge.

CDFW is actively hiring warden cadets and is currently accepting applications through Oct. 17. For more information, please visit http://www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/career/index.aspx.