The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Law Enforcement Academy today, Nov. 24, graduated its 29th class of cadets into the ranks of LDWF Enforcement Division agents at a ceremony in Baton Rouge.
After six months of intensive physical and academic training at the academy, seven newly commissioned agents are ready to begin enforcing hunting, fishing and boating regulations that govern the use of the state’s natural resources.
LDWF Secretary Robert Barham was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. “You have a tremendous responsibility to protect Louisiana’s rich natural resources and those who enjoy those resources, whether in the field or on the water. Congratulations on your achievement which we celebrate today,” Barham noted.
Col. Joey Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, presented certificates and recited the Oath of Office making the cadets’ transition to commissioned agents official. “We welcome these cadets into the Enforcement Division ranks. They are well trained and will be required to hit the ground running when they get to their local regions.”
The seven new agents are:
James Bruce, 26, of Bentley, assigned to Grant Parish
Devin Bryant, 29, of Deville, assigned to Sabine Parish
Joshua Cooper, 32, of St. Francisville, assigned to East Feliciana Parish
Kyle Haydel, 24, Destrehan, assigned to St. Bernard Parish
Michael Hebert, 25, of Lafayette, assigned to Cameron Parish
Edwin Langley, 22, of Kinder, assigned to Allen Parish
Tyler Smith, 23, of Opelousas, assigned to Pointe Coupee Parish
During the graduation ceremony, Cooper received the firearms award given for the best marksman in the class. Haydel received the physical training award for being the most fit. Bruce received the academic award for having the highest grades. Cooper won the overall award, which is a cumulative score from the firearms, academic and physical training categories.
At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state’s recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and general law enforcement work on the state’s many wildlife management areas. The academy also covers general law enforcement training equal to that of other state law enforcement officers.
The graduating agents fill vacancies in LDWF’s Enforcement Division and will be assigned to a field-training officer for their first six months of duty. Now part of the agency’s commissioned officer staff, the agents will join the ranks of those patrolling land and water to primarily detect game, fish and boating law violations. These duties require travel into Louisiana’s forests, swamps, fields, streams, bayous, lakes, marshlands, the Gulf of Mexico and on the state roadway system.