15 officers graduate from short FWC academy
Friday, November 12, 2010
Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585
"Determined" is a fitting word to describe the most
recent additions to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission's (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement.
When the 15th FWC law enforcement class graduated
Wednesday at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Tallahassee in
front of friends, family and fellow law enforcement officials, they
pledged their efforts to the state of Florida and to protecting its
unique and valuable natural resources.
Officer David O'Regan, the speaker for Class 15,
spoke of the hard work the class went through and how they had
become a family during their training.
Although all FWC officers can be considered
determined individuals, dedicated to protecting Florida's people
and natural resources, these individuals went through a few
different steps to reach their goals and get to this point. Most
FWC officers are hired upon selection and then paid a salary during
a six-month academy. These officers were not.
The beginning part of each FWC academy teaches
recruits basic law enforcement details and skills. The final eight
weeks of each academy session constitute the "breakout" session;
this is when recruits learn the unique information and skills
needed to be an FWC officer.
All of Wednesday's graduates were law enforcement
certified prior to being hired on for FWC's "breakout" session.
Each had attended a basic recruit academy elsewhere; most even paid
their own way to get certified. Together, they represent 75 years
of combined law enforcement and corrections experience.
"This is the first time FWC has run a 'breakout'
class made up entirely of fully certified individuals," said Maj.
Mark Warren, head of the FWC's Training Section. "We are very
pleased with the dedication and enthusiasm that these graduates are
already displaying for the job."
Out of 786 applicants, only 20 were selected to
begin the class, and just 15 made it through the intensive training
and physical demands to graduate and become the newest FWC
officers. The training included accuracy with firearms, wildlife
identification, vessel operation, defensive tactics, all-terrain
vehicle operation, BUI/DUI detection and a focus on state and
federal wildlife and fisheries laws.
One of the graduates was previously an FWC reserve
officer, and five have applied more than once to the FWC. They
range in age from 22 to 54.
The 15 diverse individuals will now join a special
group as they face the challenging and rewarding path ahead.
As FWC officers, they will patrol Florida's lands,
covering almost 54,000 square miles, as well as nearly 2,300 miles
of tidal shoreline and 3 million square miles of freshwater lakes.
These officers will be protecting the "Fishing Capital of the
World" and one of the largest public hunting systems in the
country. In addition to enforcing all state laws, FWC officers are
authorized to enforce federal fisheries and wildlife laws.
The graduates will spend the next three months with
a field-training officer and are assigned as follows:
Matthew Cushing - Broward
Nathaniel Douglas - Collier
Donald Dougan - Polk
Maxwell Edson - Charlotte
James Futch - Collier
Marc Ingellis - Dade
Jason Lipford - Okeechobee
Nathanael Martir-Negron - Miami-Dade
Arthur Morrow - Lee
Jeremy Munkelt - Brevard
David O'Regan - Broward
Bryce Phillippi - Lee
Casey Phillips - Citrus
Ruel Raker - Franklin
Steven Stasko - Brevard