COLUMBUS — Ten new state wildlife officers from the 29th Wildlife Officer Pre-Service Training Academy were sworn in at a ceremony in Columbus last Friday, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Graduation requirements included completing seven months of training in a multitude of law enforcement and conservation topics. Ohio’s newest wildlife officers were hired from a pool of almost 600 applicants from more than 12 states.

Wildlife officers have statewide authority to enforce wildlife regulations and protect state lands, waterways and property. As state law enforcement officers, they contribute to public safety both in their local areas and in Ohio’s vast outdoors. Each year, Ohio’s state wildlife officers speak to hundreds of clubs and groups about conservation and wildlife programs; perform fish and wildlife surveys; and provide technical advice and instruction about hunting, fishing and other outdoor-related recreation.

The new officers will be assigned to a county and will continue training by working with experienced officers in their area of assignment during the next six months.

The new state wildlife officers, their hometowns, and assignments:

Ethan J. Bingham, Wauseon, assigned to Seneca County

Michele E. Butler, Sandusky, assigned to Erie County

Nathan J. Cass, Galion, assigned to Crawford County

Levi M. Farley, Antwerp, assigned to Paulding County

Evan J. Huegel, Westfield Center, assigned to Stark County

Antoinette M. Jolliff, Cardington, assigned to Hancock County

Matthew J. Madgar, Cuyahoga Falls, assigned to Cuyahoga County

Ryan M. Pawlus, Mantua, assigned to Lake County

Brock P. Williamson, Bucyrus, assigned to Van Wert County

Houston J. Wireman, Wapakoneta, assigned to Adams County

Levi Farley, 28, of Antwerp will be assigned as the new state wildlife officer in Paulding County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Officer Farley is one of 10 new wildlife officer cadets who have been undergoing extensive training and were sworn in as commissioned state wildlife officers during ceremonies on March 15 in Columbus.

Besides the 17-week Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training, the cadets had eight weeks of specialized wildlife officer training by the Division of Wildlife. In addition to wildlife law enforcement procedures and agency policies, the cadets received training in areas of wildlife and fisheries management, communications, outdoor education, all-terrain vehicle operation, hunter safety, and advanced firearms and self-defense topics.

As a state wildlife officer, Farley will have statewide jurisdiction to enforce wildlife regulations, investigate allegations of waterway pollution, protect state property and make arrests. He will also conduct educational programs, perform fish and wildlife management duties and advise landowners on dealing with wildlife. Wildlife officers serve an important role as a point of contact with law enforcement and other agencies on topics of mutual interest, providing assistance and expertise.

Officer Farley graduated from Hocking College in 2011 with an associate degree in Wildlife Management. Prior to the academy, Farley served as a Wildlife Technician for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Ethan Bingham, 24, of Wauseon, will be assigned as the new state wildlife officer in Seneca County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Officer Bingham is one of 10 new wildlife officer cadets who have been undergoing extensive training and were sworn in as commissioned state wildlife officers during ceremonies on March 15 in Columbus.

Besides the 17-week Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training, the cadets had eight weeks of specialized wildlife officer training by the Division of Wildlife. In addition to wildlife law enforcement procedures and agency policies, the cadets received training in areas of wildlife and fisheries management, communications, outdoor education, all-terrain vehicle operation, hunter safety, and advanced firearms and self-defense topics.

As a state wildlife officer, Bingham will have statewide jurisdiction to enforce wildlife regulations, investigate allegations of waterway pollution, protect state property and make arrests. He will also conduct educational programs, perform fish and wildlife management duties and advise landowners on dealing with wildlife. Wildlife officers serve an important role as a point of contact with law enforcement and other agencies on topics of mutual interest, providing assistance and expertise.

Ethan Bingham graduated from Hocking College in 2015 with an associate degree in Wildlife Resources Management. Prior to the academy, Bingham served as a Conservation Worker for Fish Management in northwest Ohio.

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