AUSTIN – Grahame Jones, a 24-year law enforcement veteran, has been selected as director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Division. He will pin on his colonel’s badge Sept. 1.
Jones, previously Chief of Special Operations, succeeds Col. Craig Hunter, who retires at the end of this month.
“Grahame’s career in law enforcement as a State Game Warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is a distinguished one,” said TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith. “He is a consummate professional, a visionary leader, supremely dedicated to TPWD’s mission, work, and people, and a respected leader among state and federal law enforcement agencies, private landowner groups, and fish and wildlife conservation partners. I have no doubt that Grahame will make a significant positive impact leading the critical conservation law enforcement work of our game wardens and our agency across Texas.”
As TPWD Law Enforcement Division director, Col. Jones will oversee a force of 551 highly trained state game wardens that provides law enforcement “off the pavement” across Texas, and 128 dedicated non-commissioned support staff. Though state game wardens focus primarily on conservation laws, they are fully commissioned peace officers authorized to enforce all state statutes.
During Jones’ career with TPWD, he has served as a field game warden in East Texas, a Sergeant Investigator in Environmental Crimes, a Captain and Major in Internal Affairs, and the Chief of Special Operations.
Jones grew up in Houston, fishing the Galveston Bay complex and hunting ducks and geese on the Katy prairie. He has been actively involved with conservation efforts through the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and served on the CCA State Board prior to going to work for TPWD. Jones received a Bachelor of Science from Stephen F. Austin State University and attended the National FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. Jones and his wife, Julie, have two daughters, Gabbie and Jali.
“The way we protect our natural resources, the way we provide water safety and public safety, and the way we respond to disasters has evolved over the last 120 years,” Jones offered. “On the other hand, the dedication, passion, and commitment exemplified by Texas Game Wardens and non-commissioned staff in protecting our natural resources and in serving our fellow Texans has remained a constant. That long-standing legacy of duty is something all Texans can all be proud of.”
Col. Hunter retires with 40-plus years of law enforcement service. “He has been a devoted and tireless leader within the department, as well as the state’s law enforcement community as a whole. As the TPWD Colonel, Craig has expertly led our game wardens through some of the most challenging situations and times confronting the Texas outdoors. From responding to massive floods and fires to breaking up sophisticated commercial fish and wildlife poaching rings to enhancing our law enforcement presence along the state’s borders and waterways, Colonel Hunter has left a big footprint across Texas’ lands and waters.
“Through his selfless service and dedication to protecting the natural resources and people of Texas, he has earned the respect of landowners, outdoor enthusiasts, lawmen, and local leaders in every corner of our home ground. We all wish him the best of luck as he transitions to his new life of retirement and leisure, i.e. electing where to hunt and fish each day,” said Smith. “If you need to find him, check Colorado Bend State Park when the white bass are running, Uvalde on the opening day of dove season, and Lampasas when deer and turkey seasons kick off!”