State wildlife officer assigned to Clinton County


COLUMBUS – Eleven state wildlife officers from the 31st Wildlife Officer Pre-Service Training Academy — including one assigned to Clinton County — were sworn in during a graduation ceremony on Friday, March 17, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The 11 officers were hired from a pool of nearly 800 applicants and completed seven months of conservation and law enforcement training.

Isaiah T. Gifford, of Zanesville, has been assigned to Clinton County.

“I am excited to welcome this new group into our Division of Wildlife,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Each one has a passion for conservation, a commitment to law enforcement, and a dedication to public service – all qualities that will better serve Ohio sportsmen and everyone in our state.”

The new wildlife officers completed 21 weeks of Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training with an additional 10 weeks of specialized training from the Division of Wildlife. Training included law enforcement procedures as well as wildlife and fisheries management, communications skills, ATV and vehicle operations, and advanced firearms and self-defense topics.

“Wildlife officers are a valuable asset to Ohioans and our natural resources,” Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker said. “These wildlife officers will enforce hunting and fishing regulations, connect with outdoor enthusiasts, serve wildlife, and much more. I look forward to seeing how these officers make a positive impact in their communities and across the state.”

Ohio wildlife officers have statewide authority to enforce wildlife regulations and protect state lands, waterways, and property. As state law enforcement officers, they contribute to public safety in their local areas and Ohio’s great outdoors. They also speak to hundreds of clubs and groups about conservation and wildlife programs, perform fish and wildlife conservation duties, and provide technical advice and instruction about wildlife management issues, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor related recreation.

For information on the Division of Wildlife and its programs visit To learn more about Ohio wildlife officers, go to and see the Becoming an Ohio Wildlife Officer icon.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

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