Thirty-six cadets graduated on Friday, Aug. 17, from the California Game Warden Academy during ceremonies at the Performing Arts Center in Paradise.
“I remember what I felt like the day my badge was pinned,” said Nancy Foley, chief of the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Law Enforcement Division. “I see the same eagerness in the eyes of
today’s graduating class of cadets.”
Foley presided over the graduation on her last day as California’s top warden. She is retiring after a distinguished 25-year career at DFG.
Annually, wardens make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations. They often work alone and in remote areas that do not allow for immediate backup.
In California, the average warden has a patrol district of more than 600 square miles.
In addition to law enforcement, wardens often recommend recreational activities and serve as educators to the public by speaking to schools, service groups and media.
The graduating class included 19 sponsored warden cadets who will begin field training immediately.
Another 17 self-sponsored cadets paid their way through the academy planning to become game wardens. DFG hopes to hire them.
All the cadets spent the last 31 weeks in intensive training at Butte College in Oroville, where the academy is located.
The following are the graduating cadets and their hometowns. Sponsored cadets are noted with an asterisk.
Corey Adler, Salinas, Calif.*
Brandon Alisio, Visalia, Calif.*
Michael Allen, Tiburon, Calif.
Leonard Arkinstall, Long Beach, Calif.*
Garrett Barker, Paradise, Pardise, Calif.
Ambartsum Bagdasaryn, Northridge, Calif.*
Nathan Daniel, Seaside, Calif.
Chrisopher Doty, Fresno, Calif.*
April Esconde, Covina, Calif.*
Christopher Foster, Rocklin, Calif.
Kyle Glau, Auburn, Calif.
Todd Kinnard, Hesperia, Calif.*
Brendan Lynch, Sonoma, Calif.*
Brad Mello, Walnut Grove, Calif.*
Leah Miller, Woodland, Calif.*
Dustin Moe, Loma Rica, Calif.
Nicholas Molsberry, San Diego, Calif.
Justin Monroe, Fairfield, Calif.*
Jefferey Moran, Waterford, Calif.*
Tara Morrison, Arnold, Calif.
Preston Murphy, Fort Bragg, Calif.
Brian Peters, Taft, Calif.*
Matthew Plaza, Patterson, Calif.
Matthew Prado, Woodland, Calif.*
Brandon Rose, Graeagle, Calif.
Brian San Agustin, Stockton, Calif.*
Perry Schultz, Sacramento, Calif.*
Keith Smith, Elk Grove, Calif.
Ryan Stephenson, Fall River Mills, Calif.
Ryan Sutherland, Crescent City, Calif.
Angel Tapia, Woodland, Calif.*
Casey Thomas, Morro Bay, Calif.
Jeff Travers, Chico, Calif.
Mark White, Fairfield, Calif.*
Joshua Williams, Elk Grove, Calif.
Doug Willson, Sebastopol, Calif.*
DFG teamed with Butte College in 2007 to provide peace officer training for prospective wardens. This partnership secured an academy facility and a California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)-certified training program for warden cadets on the college’s Oroville campus.
Butte College has a 39-year history of police recruit training. The 928-acre campus, the largest in California, is also a designated wildlife refuge.
DFG is actively hiring warden cadets. Those interested in a career as a game warden may review the job requirements and minimum qualifications at www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/career/index.aspx .