The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Academy graduated its 33rd class of cadets into the ranks of LDWF Enforcement Division agents at a Dec. 1 ceremony in Baton Rouge.
The class includes Garrett Kirkland, of Clinton, who is assigned to Pointe Coupee Parish.
After eight months of training at the academy, including two separate breaks due to the coronavirus, 12 newly commissioned agents are ready to begin enforcing hunting, fishing and boating regulations that govern the use of the state's natural resources, a news release said.
“The graduation of these 12 cadets is another clear indicator that our agency is getting better,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “As agents a lot will be asked of you in the field, but based on the training you have received in our academy, we know you will serve the people of Louisiana with courtesy, honor and professionalism.”
Col. Chad Hebert, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, presented certificates and recited the oath of office making the cadet’s transition to commissioned agents official.
“It takes a lot of determination to make it through any academy, but with COVID suspending training operations twice it especially shows me how much these 12 cadets wanted to become agents,” Hebert said. “We are excited and proud to add these 12 cadets into the ranks of agents today.”
The other new agents include Dylan Armentor, of Lake Charles, assigned to Cameron Parish; Jacob Cramer, of Church Point, assigned to Acadia Parish; Michael Darbonne, of Eunice, assigned to Allen Parish; Ryan Durand, of Pollock, assigned to Rapides Parish; Evan Hoek, of Bossier City, assigned to Caddo Parish; Salvador Mangano, of Harahan, assigned to Jefferson Parish; Katie Matthias, of Welsh, assigned to Jefferson Davis Parish; Dustin Nash, of Jonesville, assigned to Concordia Parish; Shea Schexnaydre, of Metairie, assigned to Plaquemines Parish; Joshua Segrest, of Abbeville, assigned to Vermilion Parish; and Jacob Stelly, of Grand Isle, assigned to Lafourche Parish.
At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas. The academy also covers general law enforcement training equal to that of other state law enforcement officers.
The graduating agents fill vacancies in LDWF’s Enforcement Division and will be assigned to a field-training officer for their first six months of duty. Now part of the agency’s commissioned officer staff, the agents will join the ranks of those patrolling land and water to primarily detect game, fish and boating law violations. These duties require travel into Louisiana's forests, swamps, fields, streams, bayous, lakes, marshlands, the Gulf of Mexico and on the state roadway system.