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September 19, 2003


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Eleven Conservation Police Officers graduated today, the first new CPOs hired by the Department of Natural Resources in three years, IDNR Director Joel Brunsvold announced today.

“Today is a proud day. These individuals have worked very diligently since last spring as they went through their classroom training,” Director Brunsvold said. “Soon, they will be in the field protecting the public and the natural resources of Illinois.”

The new officers are replacing officers lost through early retirements last winter. Another class of 10 recruits will begin training next month. DNR currently has 153 sworn officers.

“Public safety is a top priority of my administration,” Brunsvold said. “These new officers, along with a second group of trainees about to get underway, will keep our Law Enforcement numbers strong.”

The recruits completed a 10-week, basic law enforcement classroom training through the Illinois State Police Academy, followed by another 12-weeks of training on conservation law and related topics. Following graduation they will spend 15 weeks in on-the-job training with specially trained senior Conservation Police Officers. The officers will be certfied as CPOs following that intensive field work.

“Because of the diversity of their posts, Conservation Police Officers receive more training than any other law enforcement officers in Illinois,” said IDNR Deputy Director Roger Frazier, who spent 35 years in the field in Pike County as a CPO. “Their dedication and professionalism are unsurpassed.”

The graduates include:

Andrew F. Daiber of Highland, IL George C. Johnson of W. Frankfort, IL
Thomas D. Davis of Pontiac, IL Aaron J. Lane of Taylorville, IL
Brandon K. Fehrenbacher of Newton, IL Jason D. Moody of Mahomet, IL
Marc A. Folden of Pickneyville, IL Phillip M. Wire of Winslow, IL
Matthew C. Graden of Hillsboro, IL David K. Wollgast of Gardner, IL
Matt Hoogerwerf of Annawan, IL  

Andrew Daiber and Phillip Wire were president and treasurer respectively of their recruit class at the Illinois State Police Academy, which included 62 individuals. Matthew Graden received the Supervisor’s Award, George Johnson the Physical Fitness Award and Thomas Davis the academic award.

As a result of CPO-specific training, the following honors are being awarded:

Marc Folden the Supervisor’s Award
Matthew Graden the Top Gun shooting award
George Johnson the Valedictorian

The 11 members of the recruit class will report to their permanent duty stations near the completion of their Field Training program. Their permanent duty assignments will be in Lake (5), Cook (2), DuPage (1), McHenry (1), Henry (1), and LaSalle (1) counties.





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