TPWD Set to Graduate 41 New Game Wardens

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AUSTIN – After seven months of training in everything from water rescue and state-federal law to alligator handling, the 41 cadets of the 55th Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden class will close one chapter of their lives and start a new one with their graduation Tuesday as state game wardens.

The ceremonies, open to the public, will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the E1 auditorium at the Capitol in Austin.

The new game wardens will then report for duty at stations spanning the state from East Texas to El Paso. Game wardens’ duties include responding to natural disasters and conducting public outreach on a variety of topics in addition to enforcing hunting and fishing laws and water safety regulations.

“Basically, game wardens are the primary law enforcement off the pavement in Texas,” said Major Danny Shaw, director of training at the academy. “We do a lot more for the people of Texas than enforcing game and fish laws.”

This class of cadets is the second to be trained in the new Texas Game Warden Training Center in rural Hamilton County. Located on a 220-acre tract donated by the Police Assistance League of Texas, the $20 million training center project has so far seen completion of an administration building, education hall-armory, dining hall and fitness center. The second phase will include a firing range, a water rescue facility, emergency vehicle operations course, refitting of instructor quarters and cadet cabins and helicopter landing pad

These 41 cadets will bring to 532 the number of men and women who are carrying on a tradition of service to Texas that game wardens started in 1895.

The following counties will soon be seeing these new game wardens:

  • Archer County – Richard Key
  • Brewster County – Daniel Kessler and Matt Kiel
  • Brown County – Matt Marek
  • Cameron County – David Lewis
  • Collin County – Joshua Ross
  • Concho County – Brad Clark
  • Dallas County – Jaime Sanchez
  • El Paso County – Hallie Dacy and Ken Zuber
  • Falls County – Brandon Rose
  • Gaines/Andrews Counties – Trey Sparkman
  • Gonzalez County – Ben Bailey
  • Hardin County – Wil Nicholson
  • Hidalgo County – Harry Rakosky
  • Hudspeth County – Cody Pokorney and Tyler Reed
  • Kinney County – Dayton Isaacs
  • Liberty County – Adam Broll
  • Lubbock County – Chelsea Estrada and Shannon Kruse
  • Maverick County – David Thorne
  • Moore/Sherman Counties – Ryan Hunter
  • Orange County – Phillip LeDoux
  • Presidio County – Andrew Banda and Bryan Newman
  • Robertson County – Charles Westerman
  • Sabine County – Sam Smith
  • Schleicher County – Christopher Frey
  • Starr County – Brandon West
  • Tarrant County – Patricia O’Neill and David Vannoy
  • Val Verde County – Crystal Hoppe and Isaac Ruiz
  • Webb County – Calvin Christian and Mark Nelson
  • Wichita County – Steven Cantu
  • Zapata County – Shane Bailey, Jake Mort and Jerry Norris

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