Division of Wildlife hires 12 new officers
Columbus — It appears the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife is fulfilling its promise of restoring at least one wildlife officer in all 88 counties.
Twelve new Ohio wildlife officers from the 30th Wildlife Officer Pre-Service Training Academy were sworn in during a virtual graduation ceremony Friday, Aug. 21, according to the Ohio DNR (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Graduation requirements included completing seven months of training in a multitude of wildlife, law enforcement, and conservation topics. Ohio’s newest wildlife officers were hired from a pool of more than 900 applicants.
“We are excited to introduce 12 new wildlife officers to the people of Ohio,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “These officers were selected for their experience, education, and exemplary character, and are essential in continuing our mission of conserving and improving wildlife resources for all.”
It has been a priority of the DeWine administration and current Division of Wildlife officeholders to once again represent each Ohio county with at least one wildlife officer.
Wildlife officers have statewide authority to enforce wildlife regulations and protect state lands, waterways, and property. These officers also contribute to public safety both in their local areas and in Ohio’s vast outdoors. Each year, Ohio’s wildlife officers speak to hundreds of clubs and groups about conservation and wildlife programs; perform fish and wildlife surveys; and provide technical advice and instruction about hunting, fishing, and other outdoor-related recreation.
The new officers are now in the field and will continue training by working with experienced wildlife officers in their area of assignment during the next six months.
The new wildlife officers, their hometowns and assignments:
- Logan J. Ambrister, of Lima, assigned to Belmont County
• Mathew R. Bourne, of Pickerington, assigned to Clark County
• Ryan L. Burke, of Centerburg, assigned at-large in central Ohio
• Jade M. Heizer, of Miamisburg, assigned at-large in central Ohio
• Zachary A. Hillman, of Green, assigned at-large in northeast Ohio
• Charles C. McMullen, of Martinsburg, assigned to Sandusky County
• Brian S. Motsinger, of Blanchester, assigned to Union County
• Nathan M. Robinson, of Coldwater, assigned to Van Wert County
• Benjamin A. Smith, of Thornville, assigned at-large in southeast Ohio
• Matthew D. Smith, of Dayton, assigned at-large in southwest Ohio
• Cole P. Tilton, of Massillon, assigned to Scioto County
• Scott R. Traver, of Salem, assigned to Stark County