Tag Archives: Game Warden Academy

CDFW to Graduate 32 New Wildlife Officers

It is a great day when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) adds graduates of the Wildlife Officer Academy to the ranks of its Law Enforcement Division.

CDFW’s most recent Wildlife Officer Academy class will graduate Friday, Aug. 10, with a final inspection at noon and the formal ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. at the Paradise Performing Arts Center in Paradise. The 32 new wildlife officers will begin the CDFW Field Training Program to put their training into practice under the close supervision of experienced Field Training Officers (FTOs). Two additional cadets paid their way through the Academy as “self-sponsors” in the interest of applying for a wildlife officer position with the CDFW Law Enforcement Division or a different law enforcement agency.

“Both full-time Academy staff and dozens of wildlife officers go to great lengths to prepare our newest wildlife officers to serve and protect the public and the precious resources of this state,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of Law Enforcement.

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. The Field Training Program 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.

Wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations annually. 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 43 years of police training history.

The Law Enforcement Division will be accepting applications through Sept. 30, 2018, for the Academy beginning in January 2020. For more information about becoming a wildlife officer and the application timeline, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/enforcement/career.


Media Contacts:
Capt. Patrick Foy, Law Enforcement Division, (916) 322-8911
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Application Deadline Approaching for Game Warden Academy

Media Contact:    
Patrick Foy, DFG Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-2084

Applications are now being accepted for the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Warden Academy at Butte College in Oroville. The academy will begin in January 2013 and is scheduled to graduate in September 2013. The application deadline is Nov. 4, 2011.

Group photo of 14 California Fish and Game wardens
A California Fish and Game Warden squad

The deadline for current peace officers to apply for a shortened lateral academy is Sept. 16, 2011 for an academy scheduled to begin in September 2012.

An increase in the number of applications received is expected as a result of the first season of “Wild Justice,” a reality show that premiered on the National Geographic Channel in November 2010. The popular show chronicles California game wardens’ efforts to combat poachers and polluters.

‘“Wild Justice” has given many hopeful candidates a clear picture of the intensive law enforcement nature of a game warden,” said DFG recruiter Lt. Jeff Longwell. “Game wardens are charged with ensuring public safety, investigating illegal sales of wildlife and parts thereof, protecting the state from pollution, enforcing habitat protection laws, fighting illegal drug trafficking, keeping the homeland secure and responding during natural disasters.”

A typical day for a California game warden is as diverse as the state’s fish and wildlife. Wardens have the opportunity to patrol ocean, desert, mountain and valley environments, as well as California’s urban areas. They frequently work independently and conduct full-scale law enforcement investigations. Wardens employ everything from all-terrain vehicles to jet skis to snowmobiles while on patrol, and spend much of a typical day making contact with Californians in the great outdoors. DFG has a dive team and uses K-9 partners as well. Environmental crimes and pollution incidents also fall under the purview of game wardens. Annually, wardens make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations for violations of the law.

Successful lateral academy applicants will enter a 30-week program, followed by at least three, three-week long training assignments where they will work with a seasoned field training officer.

DFG’s academy at Butte College is Peace Officer Standards and Training certified. Cadets are trained to be police officers with specific emphasis on working as wardens.

In California, with 159,000 square miles that offer habitat and wildlife diversity unequaled by any other state, the average warden has a patrol district of more than 600 square miles. The state has more than 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs, three desert habitat areas and scores of high mountain peaks.

More information and applications are available at www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement. Applications are now being accepted online and must be postmarked by the due date for each category described above.

To learn more about game wardens, please view DFG’s new recruitment videos at www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/career.