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Wildlife Commission Swears in New Officers

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission held the 59th Basic School Graduation at First Baptist Church of Pinehurst Tuesday July 18, 2023. Back row for left is officers Avery Allen, Jacob Pattison, Cameron Kepley, John Hall, Quantra Taylor, Bryce Harrington, Matthew Woodlief, Javier Monroe and Eric Burkhalter. Front row from left is training director Lieutenant Darby Enoch, Alicia Calogero, Zackary Xiong, Tyler Walker, Nathan Baespflug, Matthew Burlingame, Ethan Lewis, Anthony Bynum and assistant training director Lieutenant Nathaniel Green.

New officers take oath to enforce criminal laws, which include conservation and boating laws, and to faithfully and impartially execute the duties of a law enforcement officer.  N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Law Enforcement Division  now has16 new wildlife law enforcement officers. The recruits were sworn in during a graduation ceremony held this week in Pinehurst. 

The graduating officers are: 

Avery J. Allen                         Salisbury, NC 

Nathan M. Baespflug              Sumner, WA 

Eric Burkhalter                       Harrisburg, NC  

Matthew D. Burlingame          Jackson, WY  

Anthony C. Bynum                 Lincolnton, NC  

Alicia M. Calogero                 Skaneateles, NY 

John C. Hall                            Lexington, NC 

Bryce O. Harrington               Goldsboro, NC  

Cameron C. Kepley                Midland, NC 

Ethan P. Lewis                        Crumpler, NC 

Javier S. Monroe                     Silver Spring, MD 

Jacob A. Pattison                    Waxhaw, NC  

Quantra M. Taylor                  Florence, SC    

Tyler N. Walker                      King, NC 

Matthew D. Woodlief             Henderson, NC 

Zackary M. Xiong                  Albemarle, NC 

The ceremony celebrated the 59th Basic School graduating class of the Wildlife Commission and was held at the First Baptist Church of Pinehurst located at 7373 Hwy. 211 in West End. 

 To graduate, recruits are required to complete conservation-specific training on fish and wildlife laws, motorboat accident investigation and protected species training. Instruction covers statutory and investigation procedures, defensive tactics, and pursuit driving and boating. It’s 7 ½ months of rigorous training that includes N.C. standard basic law enforcement with 1,110+ hours of classroom and practical exercise. Recruits receive instruction on a wide range of laws from general crime, traffic offense, ABC/drug law, juvenile law, as well as hunting, fishing, boating, and trapping laws. They also receive training in practical exercises such as drivers training, firearms, subject control/arrest techniques, conducting traffic stops, patrol techniques, and game warden tactics. 

All wildlife law enforcement officer trainees are required to pass an extensive background, psychological and physical screening before entering an intensive accredited academy conducted by the Law Enforcement Division. Training is held at the N.C. Department of Public Safety Samarcand Training Academy in Jackson Springs 

Courtesy of NC Wildlife Commission