The Missouri Department of Conservation congratulates 15 new conservation officers on graduating from the 2021 MDC Conservation Officer Training Academy. The Class of 2021 Officers took the Curatorial Oath in a special graduation ceremony on Tuesday, October 12 at the Richardson Fine Arts Center on the Lincoln University campus in Jefferson City.
MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley urged officers to remember their role in protecting Missouri’s natural resources and serving its citizens.
âYou really connect people to nature – in every program, in every conversation, in every relationship. You connect people to nature and maintain that public trust, âPauley said.
MDC Chief Protection Officer Randy Doman urged officers to look to the future of conservation while honoring its past.
âWe are sitting here today on the shoulders of those conservation professionals who have come before us – reaping the rewards of their labor,â said Doman. âWhether it was Proposition 4 in 1936 that ultimately created the Conservation Commission or Design for Conservation in 1976 which provided for a dedicated sales tax so crucial to effective conservation today. We are part of a conservation story in Missouri. “
The new officers have spent the last six months at Highway Patrol Academy in Jefferson City. They received over 1,200 hours of intensive instruction both in and out of the classroom statewide. Officers received training in criminal investigations, defensive tactics, firearms skills and technical training in fish, forest and wildlife management. The training also included courses in legal studies, communications and conducting education programs, as well as first aid / first responder and CPR certification.
Upon successful completion of this training, officers receive a Peace Officer Training and Standards (POST) license from the Missouri Department of Public Safety. The conservation officer training program is also certified by the Office of Apprenticeship of the US Department of Labor.
These 15 new agents joining the 166 existing MDC agents to serve and protect Missouri’s fish, forests and wildlife include Christopher Barnes, Logan Brawley, Aaron Burnett, Jeremy Caddick, Payton Emery, Donald Fessler, Jessica Filla, Jacob Fisher, Nathan Ingle, Clarissa Lee, Jaycob O’Hara, Tex Rabenau, Ashton Reuter, Kristopher Smith and Dustin Snead.
The new officers have been assigned to their counties; however, they will be involved in field training operations and special missions under the supervision of veteran field agents for six months during which they will gain vital field experience.