AUSTIN – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will accept applications through Nov. 30 for the 67th Texas Game Warden and State Park Police Cadet class. The academy is aimed at those interested in joining the next generation of elite state law enforcement officers.
As fully commissioned peace officers, game wardens and park police officers are tasked with enforcing all Texas criminal laws and must enforce the Penal Code, Transportation Code and Health and Safety Codes much like their law enforcement colleagues in neighboring communities.
Their responsibilities extend beyond the pavement as they enforce hunting and fishing regulations, patrol the state’s natural waterways and focus on natural resource protection.
“Texas Game Wardens have a proud tradition of safeguarding and conserving Texas’ valuable natural resources, which include our waterways, landscapes and the wildlife we enjoy daily,” said Col. Chad Jones, TPWD Law Enforcement Director. “Our officers also play a critical role in the state’s emergency response efforts, being specially trained in search, rescue and recovery operations on land, air and in the water.”
Jones emphasized that in addition to helping protect our state’s natural resources for future generations to enjoy, Texas Game Wardens are actively involved in the communities they serve. Game wardens engage with the citizens of their county by hosting fishing events, conducting hunter education courses and utilizing opportunities to educate both adults and youth on how to enjoy the outdoors while employing responsible conservation practices.
“For more than 50 years, State Park Police Officers have been entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the citizens of Texas and the nearly 10 million visitors that use our Texas State Parks each year,” said Chief Wes Masur, Director of State Park Police. “Our officers patrol and protect the most historically significant and important cultural and natural resources Texas has to offer. Our unique patrol areas include forests, lakes, rivers, beaches, mountains, deserts and even monuments.”
The job can be demanding, but very rewarding, added Masur. State Park Police Officers utilize community-oriented strategies to educate the public on state park rules and regulations, enforce state laws and serve as active partners with local law enforcement agencies. Serving the citizens of Texas and its visitors in a variety of duties, all while working in a beautiful outdoor setting, makes this career very fulfilling.
Applicants must be at least 21 years old by the start date of the academy and have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in any field of study by Jan. 1, 2024. Applicants must also successfully complete a physical readiness test, which includes handgun stability, a 2,000-meter row and a swim test. The complete list of requirements for State Park Police and Texas Game Wardens may be found online.
All cadets accepted into the program are required to live at the Game Warden Training Center near Hamilton for the duration of the 35-week training period, set to begin Oct. 1, 2024.
Interested applicants may apply online. The application process to become a Texas Game Warden or State Park Police Officer is highly competitive, with only the most qualified applicants being selected to attend the academy.