The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Law Enforcement Academy today, June 10, graduated its 27th class of cadets into the ranks of LDWF Enforcement Division agents at a ceremony in Baton Rouge.
After six months of intensive physical and academic training at the academy, 13 newly commissioned agents are ready to begin enforcing hunting, fishing and boating regulations that govern the use of the state's natural resources.
LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, the keynote speaker at the ceremony, said, “You have a tremendous responsibility to protect Louisiana’s rich natural resources and those who enjoy those resources, whether in the field or on the water. Congratulations on your achievement which we celebrate today.” Barham further noted that, “These 13 cadets are very much needed to help bolster the ranks of agents in the state as this is our first graduation in over three years.”
Col. Joey Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, presented certificates and recited the Oath of Office making the cadets’ transition to commissioned agents official. “We welcome these cadets into the Enforcement Division ranks. They are well trained and will be required to hit the ground running when they get to their local regions.”
The 13 new agents are:
Todd Abshire, 25, of Lake Charles, assigned to Cameron Parish
William Bartlett, 28, of Slidell, assigned to Plaquemines Parish
Richard Bean, 27, of Marrero, assigned to Lafourche Parish
Jeffrey Farmer, 26, of New Orleans, assigned to Jefferson Parish
Lance Fox, 26, of Pineville, assigned to Southern Strike Force
Joshua Harris, 24, of Farmerville, assigned to Northern Strike Force
John Hattaway, 23, of Bastrop, assigned to Northern Strike Force
Lucas Hidalgo, 26, of Franklin, assigned to Southern Strike Force
Jake Hoover, 24, of Albany, assigned to Beauregard Parish
Kyle Wagner, 24, of Destrehan, assigned to St. Charles Parish
Derek Ware, 24, of Sieper, assigned to Sabine Parish
Tyler Wheeler, 22, of Monroe, assigned to Northern Strike Force
Max Wilkinson, 24, of Marksville, assigned to West Feliciana Parish
During the graduation ceremony, Farmer received the firearms award given for the best marksman in the class and the physical training award for being the most fit. Fox received the academic award for having the highest grades. Farmer also won the overall award, which is a cumulative score from the firearms, academic and physical training categories.
At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas. The academy also covers general law enforcement training equal to that of other state law enforcement officers.
The graduating agents fill vacancies in LDWF’s Enforcement Division and will be assigned to a field-training officer for their first six months of duty. Now part of the agency’s commissioned officer staff, the agents will join the ranks of those patrolling land and water to primarily detect game, fish and boating law violations. These duties require travel into Louisiana's forests, swamps, fields, streams, bayous, lakes, marshlands, the Gulf of Mexico and on the state roadway system.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Photo: First Row from Left to Right: Lance Fox, Jeffrey Farmer, Todd Abshire, John Hattaway, William Bartlett, Richard Bean, and Derek Ware. Back Row from Left to Right: Col. Joey Broussard, Joshua Harris, Tyler Wheeler, Jake Hoover, Kyle Wagner, Max Wilkinson, Lucas Hidalgo, and Major Spencer Cole.