Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Twelve new natural resource officers start duties in Ohio

Twelve Ohio officers took the oath of office during a ceremony in late February at Deer Creek State Park. (Photo courtesy ODNR)

Mount Sterling, Ohio — The sixth Natural Resources Officer (NRO) Training Academy concluded in late February as 12 new law enforcement officers were sworn in by Ohio DNR (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz during a commissioning ceremony at Deer Creek State Park Lodge and Conference Center.

“I am thrilled to extend a warm welcome to this incoming class of natural resources officers,” Mertz said. “Each officer brings a deep passion for conservation, a strong dedication to law enforcement, and an unwavering commitment to public service, all in the noble pursuit of safeguarding our state parks, forests, nature preserves, and waterways.”

ODNR natural resources officers are commissioned peace officers who protect and promote Ohio’s natural resources. They provide law enforcement services to visitors at Ohio’s premier recreational properties. Additionally, they educate the public on boating and safety and natural resources conservation. Officers also assist in emergency response during floods, natural disasters, search and rescue, and recovery situations.


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“Today marks a significant milestone as we welcome these new natural resources officers into our ranks,” ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft Chief Glen Cobb said. “As they become integral parts of their communities, I am excited and proud to watch their positive impact and contributions.”

The new officers received their basic peace officer training at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Academy. They also completed an additional four weeks of specialized training related to ODNR operations. In addition to law enforcement procedures and agency policies, the cadets received training in areas of ATV use, communications, vessel operation, advanced firearms, and self-defense.

For the next several months, the new officers will continue their training by working closely with experienced officers in their assignment areas.

The new natural resources officers, their hometown, and where they are being assigned are as follows:

• Tristan Ashcraft, Orrville, Findley State Park

• Colt Barnhart, Scio, Fernwood State Forest

• Megan Bedard, Leavenworth, Kansas, Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve

• Maggie Bowling, Middletown, Hueston Woods State Park

• Kassidy Hines, Washington Court House, Deer Creek State Park

• Zach Hudson, Cortland, Mosquito Lake State Park

• Nathan King, Wheelersburg, Shawnee State Park and State Forest

• Caleb Mattocks, Meadville, Pa., Pymatuning State Park

• Makya Milhoan, Pomeroy, Forked Run State Park

• Connor Robinson, Bellbrook, Cowan Lake State Park

• Sarah Theobald, Parma, Cleveland Field Office

• Drew Zorn, Athens, Hocking Hills State Park

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