Twenty recruits successfully completed training as conservation officers for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) on June 12 with several receiving high commendations for their training excellence. Fourteen members of the 2015 Conservation Officer Class began training at the SC Criminal Justice Academy on Jan. 26, 2015. These recruits were subjected to several months of intensive law enforcement training and academics as a part of their Police Academy training.
Conservation Officer (CO) Donald Garbade was appointed Class Leader at the beginning of training by his class. He successfully navigated his classmates through the twelve weeks of training to graduation, upholding the highest traditions of the South Carolina DNR. At graduation on April 17, CO Officer Nicholas Smith received the J.P. Strom Award for maintaining the highest grade point average during the Academy. CO Adam Bedard, Jordan Costner, Cassie Pilgrim, Donald Garbade, Andrew Beam, and Nicholas Smith all received the Distinguished Graduate Award for maintaining a ninety-four average test score throughout the Academy training.
DNR Colonel Chisolm Frampton commented on the new graduates: “Our officers were challenged not only in law enforcement training, but also to excel academically. I am proud of their accomplishments.”
After graduation from the Academy, the fourteen new officers were joined by six other prior-certified officers to begin the Wildlife Basic Course at the Webb Wildlife Center in Hampton County. Wildlife Basic begins with four weeks of training on upland game and fish regulations with real-time scenarios conducted at the Webb. From the Webb, new officers are submitted to an additional four weeks of Marine Law Enforcement Training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston. During this final portion of training, officers learn the boating laws and regulations as well as receive on the water training in basic boat operation and trailering. All twenty officers completed their five-month training on June 12.