|Harrisburg, PA – Eight waterways conservation officer (WCO) trainees from the Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and five rangers from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) have successfully completed the Municipal Police Officers Basic Training Program at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey.
State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski formally recognized the officers during a graduation ceremony held Dec. 3 at the academy. The Pennsylvania Municipal Police Education and Training Act requires that all beginning law enforcement officers successfully meet training requirements before going to work for a state agency or local police department. The 22-week training course covered all phases of police work, from the Vehicle and Crimes codes to use of firearms and conducting criminal investigations.
The PFBC trainees and their hometowns include:
Corey Girt, Summerville, Clarion County;
Michael Johnson, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County;
Matthew Kauffman, Johnstown, Somerset County;
Timothy McCloskey, Lititz, Lancaster County;
Chad McKenrick, Punxsutawney, Jefferson County;
Chase Rhoades, Emlenton, Clarion County;
Dan Sharer, Downingtown, Chester County; and
Jeremy Yohe, Bradford, McKean County.
DCNR ranger graduates, their hometowns and assigned parks include:
Benjamin Moyer, Julian, Centre County - Bald Eagle State Park;
Jonathan Snyder, Gordon, Schuylkill County - Beltzville State Park;
Douglas McCarson, Malvern, Chester County - Fort Washington State Park;
James Godfrey, Croydon, Bucks County - Neshaminy State Park; and
John Orsulak, Nesquehoning, Carbon County - Hickory Run State Park.
WCO trainee Jeremy Yohe received the High Scholastic Award and WCO trainee Timothy McCloskey received both the High Pistol Award and the Physical Fitness Award.
“Waterways conservation officers serve as the Fish and Boat Commission’s primary contact with the general public and the sporting community,” said PFBC Executive Director John A. Arway. “Their responsibilities are immense and widespread, from enforcing regulations to conducting investigations, from stocking fish to participating in public outreach events. The agency’s many accomplishments grow directly from these efforts.”
The PFBC trainees will now begin an extensive seven-month training program at the agency’s H.R. Stackhouse School of Fishery Conservation and Watercraft Safety in Bellefonte, Centre County. For 12 weeks of the training, officers will be paired with seasoned WCOs for on-the-job training, including assisting with investigations, patrolling regions, participating in public outreach events, stocking waterways and operating boating safety patrols.
The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com. For more information about the State Police and DCNR, visit www.psp.state.pa.us or www.dcnr.state.pa.us.