CDFW is accepting applications for wildlife officer cadet through Oct. 17, 2014. The department is particularly interested in recruiting applicants with a passion for conservation of California’s fish and wildlife resources.
California wildlife officers are charged with ensuring public safety, enforcing fish and wildlife laws, investigating illegal sales of wildlife, protecting the state from pollution, enforcing habitat protection laws, fighting illegal drug trafficking, keeping the homeland secure and responding during natural disasters. As peace officers, they have the authority to enforce all California laws, such as the Vehicle Code and Penal Code, and are federally deputized to enforce federal fish and wildlife laws.
A typical day for a California wildlife officer is diverse as the state’s fish and wildlife. Wildlife officers patrol ocean, desert, mountain and valley environments, as well as urban areas. They frequently work independently and conduct full-scale law enforcement investigations. Wildlife officers employ everything from all-terrain vehicles to jet skis and snowmobiles while on patrol and spend much of their typical day making contact with Californians in the great outdoors. CDFW has a dive team and utilizes K-9 partners as well. Environmental crimes and pollution incidents also fall under the purview of wildlife officers. Annually, wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations for violations of the law.
Successful applicants will enter a 31-week academy training program, followed by 19 weeks of field training, where they will work with a seasoned field training officer. CDFW’s academy at Butte College is California Peace Officer Standards and Training certified. Cadets are trained as police officers with specific emphasis on wildlife, pollution and habitat protection.
In California, with 159,000 square miles of habitat and wildlife diversity unequaled by any other state, the average wildlife officer has a patrol district of more than 600 square miles. The state has more than 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs, three desert habitat areas and scores of high mountain peaks.
The CDFW Law Enforcement Division expects an overwhelming number of inquiries and asks prospective candidates to extensively review materials on the website before contacting CDFW with questions.
To find information on minimum qualifications, required materials and an application for the academy, please click here.
For general information about a career as a wildlife officer, please click here. Applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 17, 2014.
About The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW)
The Mission of the Department of Fish and Wildlife is to manage California’s diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.