News Releases

FWC selects new Northwest Region commander

News Release

Friday, February 03, 2012

Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) leadership announced that today (Friday, Feb. 3) Capt. Bruce Cooper will take over for retiring Maj. Dave Pridgen as Regional Commander for the FWC’s Northwest Region.

This new leg of his career began with the traditional pinning ceremony in the FWC’s Panama City office, when gold oak leaves were pinned to his shirt and he became a major.

The Northwest Region covers 16 counties in the Florida Panhandle, from Jefferson County west. The area boasts a range of hunting and fishing opportunities, including commercial marine fishing communities all along the coast. Cooper will oversee all law enforcement efforts there as FWC officers patrol Florida’s woods and waters.

Cooper began his conservation law enforcement career in 1985 as a wildlife officer in Broward County. Since then, he has worked his way through the ranks across the FWC’s Northeast, North Central and Northwest regions as an investigator, training lieutenant, investigative lieutenant, patrol supervisor and captain. Most recently, as an area captain in Bay County, Cooper oversaw investigations for the entire Northwest Region.

“Capt. Cooper has been a valuable asset to the agency throughout his career,” said Col. Jim Brown, director of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “In each position, he has furthered the FWC’s mission to protect Florida’s people and its natural resources. We are looking forward to what he will accomplish in this next role.”

Cooper received his Bachelor of Science in Resource Management from Auburn University. He has also attended the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Leadership Academy.

“I have an enormous love for protecting the natural resources of the state and have done so for the past 26 years,” Cooper said. “To be selected as the Regional Commander for the Northwest Region is a tremendous honor.”

Cooper and his wife, Amy, reside in Panama City Beach. They have two daughters; one attends Emory Law School, and the other recently graduated from Troy University with a degree in psychology.

FWC Facts:
The Florida snail kite is aptly named - it feeds almost exclusively on apple snails and, in the United States, is found only in Florida.

Learn More at AskFWC