In Pennsylvania, law-enforcement officers now ‘state game wardens’

For the first time in its 122-year history, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will call its law-enforcement officers “state game wardens.”

The change takes effect Jan. 1, 2018.

“The job titles previously used to describe our field officers – game protector and wildlife conservation officer – didn’t fully identify their unique and diverse responsibilities,” Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said in a news release Wednesday, Dec. 27 announcing the change. “The goal here is to more clearly identify our officers and their purpose. We believe ‘state game warden’ will help communicate this.

“In addition, this title already is well understood by the public,” Burhans said. “The word ‘warden’ is America’s oldest title for the men and women who serve wildlife in this capacity.”

Since the recodification of the state’s Game and Wildlife Code in 1987, field officers were titled wildlife conservation officers. Prior to that, they were called district game protectors. But neither title resonated with the public. Many never associated them with Game Commission officers, according to the release.

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