The DNR is reaching out to area young people, showing them what outdoor law enforcement is like and how the Michigan budget is affecting them.
DNR conservation officers have to receive all the training that any other law enforcement officers get, plus some other training — hypothermia exposure, boat and snowmobile training and much more.
The state’s budget situation has affected how the officers are trained.
Conservation Officer Elton Luce says the DNR used to have a 5-month-long Conservation Officer Training Academy based out of the MSP Academy in Lansing.
Four classes of trainees went through the DNR program, but the DNR had to do away with the academy because of budget cuts.
But the need for new officers doesn’t go away.
Luce told NMU students tonight if they’re interested in joining the DNR, they’re in a good spot because of NMU’s regional police academy.
He says when the DNR is looking to hire conservation officers, they look for anyone who already has a certification from a police training academy like NMU’s.
The Department even sometimes hires people who haven’t been certified and then pays for them to attend an academy.