Texas Game Warden graduates headed to Jefferson County

Published 9:59 am Monday, June 3, 2024

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Jefferson County is getting a boost as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department graduated the 66th Texas Game Wardens and Texas State Park Police cadet class.

The event took place May 31 at Bannockburn Baptist Church in Austin.

The class included 31 game wardens and 10 state park police officers.

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Texas Game Wardens coming to Jefferson County are Brandon R. New and Lex A. Thompson.

Following eight months of training at the Texas Game Warden Training Center in Hamilton County, the newly commissioned state peace officers were recognized during a special ceremony that included a keynote speaker, oath of office and commissioning by senior-level department staff and TPWD Executive Director David Yoskowitz.

The graduates begin their careers stationed in counties and state parks throughout Texas. Their jobs are unique in the world of law enforcement as their responsibilities extend beyond the pavement.

As fully commissioned peace officers, game wardens and state park police officers are tasked with enforcing all Texas criminal laws and must enforce the Penal Code, Transportation Code and Health and Safety Codes much like their law enforcement colleagues in neighboring communities.

Additionally, they respond to all types of emergency situations, assist other law enforcement agencies and work to educate the public about conservation issues.

Texas Game Wardens are the primary enforcement officers focusing on hunting, fishing and water safety regulations in the state.

“Since 1895, Texas Game Wardens have played an integral role in conservation law enforcement and ensuring the safety of the people of Texas,” said Col. Chad Jones, TPWD law enforcement director. “I commend these newly commissioned wardens for their hard work and dedication on this impressive achievement. I am looking forward to seeing where they go in their careers and the impact they will have on conserving Texas’ natural resources and the communities they will become a part of.”

Texas State Park Police provide law enforcement services to the visitors and users of state parks and help enforce laws within their local jurisdictions.

“Our new park police officers have been assigned to state parks around Texas where they will play a critical role in serving and protecting the citizens of Texas both within and without the boundaries of our sites,” said Chief Wes Masur, State Park Police. “I have tremendous confidence in our new officers and know they will serve with distinction.”

All graduates met the state-mandated requirements for peace officer certification, including criminal and constitutional law, firearms, self-defense, use of force, defensive driving, arrest, search and seizure, ethics and first aid.

The new wardens and park police are joining the 515 game wardens and 130 park police officers currently in the field and will help enforce TPWD regulations and carry the department’s high standards to every corner of the state.