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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2007

Illinois Department of Natural Resources announces graduation of 19 new cadets from Conservation Police Academy
New class expected to be on patrol beginning December 2007

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood today announced the graduation of 19 Conservation Police Officer (CPO) cadets, who just completed 12 weeks of CPO training at the Conservation Police Academy in Springfield.

“Conservation Police Officers provide an important service in protecting the state’s natural resources, but their job extends far beyond that to ensuring the public’s safety and providing educational outreach,” said Dir. Flood.

“Safety is a top priority for the department and the addition of 19 new officers is an indication of that commitment.  These cadets have undergone intensive training over the last 6 months so that they can immediately begin serving the people of Illinois,” said Acting Conservation Police Director Rafael Gutierrez.

The 19 CPO cadets reported to the Conservation Police Academy on April 15, 2007 for 12 weeks of intense academy training after completing a 12 week Basic Law Enforcement Training Class at the Illinois State Police Academy in Springfield.  CPO training focused on wildlife laws; boating, snowmobile, ATV and other specialty safety education; endangered species protection, among other topics.

This year’s recruit class marks only the second class of new Conservation Police Officers that have been trained and housed at the Conservation Police Academy.  This facility makes it more efficient and more cost effective for the department to conduct recruit classes from year to year.

Since coming into office in 2003, Gov. Blagojevich has made public safety a top priority.  In his Fiscal Year 2007 budget, Gov. Blagojevich included funds for 20 additional Conservation Police Officers.  Also included was funding for a new vehicle radio system for CPO’s.  Upgrading the current aging system will allow CPOs to be compatible with the Illinois State Police communications systems which are being updated this year.

A list of all 2007 Conservation Police recruits and hometowns is listed below.


CPO 
Home Town

Buhnerkempe, Timothy 
Effingham

Geltz, Joshua 
Newton

Gerard, Isaac 
Pittsfield

Goetten, Michael 
Jerseyville

Gushleff, Christopher 
Brighton

Hummert, Ryan 
Carlyle

Jones, Audrey 
Fulton

Morrison, Jared 
Brownstown

Organ, Jason 
McLeansboro

Reeves, Trent 
Monticello

Rollins, Eric 
Ashland

Somers, Gary 
Carbondale

Tapley, Brian 
Carterville

Teas, Shane 
Murphysboro

Wheatley, Karl 
Shorewood

Whitchurch, Jed 
Lemont

Williams, Troy 
West Frankfort

Winters, Christopher 
Lake in the Hills

Zulauf, Douglas 
Jacksonville



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