Michigan DNR recruiting for 2022 conservation officer academy

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting potential job candidates for conservation officer recruits and probationary conservation officers positions.

These positions are for fully-licensed law enforcement officers, who “enforce laws and regulations related to fish and wildlife, state parks, trails and forests, and outdoor recreation activities such as off-road vehicle use, snowmobiling and boating,” according to a statement. The officers also act as first responders in the event of natural disasters.

An in-service training program is being offered to applicants who currently hold a Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards license or are eligible to immediately be licensed upon employment and meet the DNR’s hiring requirements.

“This probationary training program will allow eligible recruits to participate in a seven-week, in-service training program focusing on conservation officer-specific laws and functions,” F/Lt. Jason Wicklund, DNR Law Enforcement Division, said in a statement.

In August, nine officers completed the 2021 in-service training program.

“Before becoming a conservation officer, I was a trooper with the Michigan State Police,” conservation officer Alex Van Wagner, one of the August graduates, said in a statement. “I grew up seeing the local conservation officer in my hometown and I thought he had a cool job. I learned more about what conservation officers do and was interested in the fact that the job would take me out of a traditional work setting and allow me to experience so many different opportunities.”

The other applicants will be able to enroll in an MCOLES basic training academy to meet the training standards. Upon completion, recruits will get training specific to natural resource laws and regulations, and marine, off-road vehicle and snowmobile operation.

Candidates must be at least 21 years of age upon activation of an MCOLES license, according to the DNR. Candidates don’t need any previous law enforcement, fishing and hunting experience or a college education to be considered. While training, recruits will be deemed State of Michigan employees and get biweekly paychecks.

“Our instructors are the best at what they do,” Wicklund said. “We want to see applicants succeed and will provide recruits everything they need to be successful.”

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