TPWD Graduates 41 Texas Game Wardens and State Park Police Officers

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AUSTIN— The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department graduated the 61st Texas game warden and state park police officer cadet class Aug. 1 at the Texas State Capitol. The class included 34 game wardens and seven state park police officers.

Following their seven month preparation at the TPWD Game Warden Training Center in Hamilton County, the newly-commissioned state peace officers were recognized during a special ceremony that included a keynote speaker, oath of office and commissioning by senior-level department staff and TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith.

“Every one of you game wardens and park police officers, you’ve got a mighty fine office, and with that mighty fine office comes great privileges and awesome responsibilities,” Smith told the class. “So as you move forward to your charge let me be unambiguous as to what our expectations are of all of you – we the state of Texas, we the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, we the members of the communities where you will live, work, serve and raise your families, always expect you to be pillars of strength and leadership, resolute character and virtue, fair beyond reproach, and unfailing in times of disaster and duress.”

The graduates will begin their new careers stationed in counties and state parks throughout the state.

The duties of a Texas game warden include the enforcement of all state laws, but primarily hunting, fishing and water safety regulations. As fully commissioned state peace officers, they respond to emergencies, assist other law enforcement agencies and work to educate the public about conservation issues.

State park police, also commissioned state peace officers, provide law enforcement services to the visitors and users of state parks and help enforce laws within their local jurisdictions.

All graduates met the state-mandated requirements for peace officer certification, including criminal and constitutional law, firearms, self-defense, use of force, defensive driving, arrest, search and seizure, ethics and first aid.

The new wardens and park police are joining the 506 game wardens and 152 park police officers currently in the field and will help enforce TPWD regulations and carry the department’s high standards to every corner of the state.

These are the new game wardens and park police and the counties or parks in which they will be stationed:

Texas Game Wardens

Justin A. Amundson – Harris County

Gustavo Armas, Jr. – Travis County

Hani (Raj) Ataya – Orange County

Calvin Atkinson – Zapata County

Coty G. Castro – San Jacinto County

Austin B. Cryer – Shelby County

Javier De Leon, Jr. – Brooks County

Dustin Delgado – Dawson/Borden County

Dillon T. Eizember – Calhoun County

Clinton Gayler – Travis County

Josh J. Gordon – Hale/Floyd County

Richard L. Hays – Brewster County

Kyle P. Hendley – Nueces County

Joseph C. Hendrix – Ward/Loving/Winkler County

Matthew W. Hill – Sabine County

Kirk M. Hornsby – Comanche County

Preston J. Kleman – Lamb/Bailey/Cochran County

William M. Kornelis – Val Verde County

Jared C. Lewis – Zapata County

Charles D. Mauppin, Jr. – Newton County

Jacob H. McMahen – Calhoun County

Michael E. Patrick – Zapata County

Wade H. Pierce – Pecos County

Forrest Price – Terrell County

Derek A. Rennspies – Milam County

Luke A. Richard – San Augustine County

Blake M. Satterfield – Kinney County

Joseph D. Sellers – Red River County

David W. Spangler – Cass County

Ryan D. Stevens – Swisher/Briscoe County

Andrew P. Steward – Harris County

Jimmy R. West – Cass County

Preston L. Whisenhunt – Hood County

Douglas W. White – Aransas County

State Park Police Officers

John C. Barlow – Lake Whitney State Park

Jason Bigham – Huntsville State Park

Kailie C. Branson – Garner State Park

Jade M. Carter – San Angelo State Park

Stephen M. Dishong – Franklin Mountains State Park

Ethan R. Turner – Garner State Park

Jake E. Voigt – Palo Duro Canyon State Park