BELLEFONTE, Pa -- The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is pleased to announce that nineteen Waterways Conservation Officers (WCO) have formally graduated from the agency’s H.R. Stackhouse School of Fishery Conservation and Watercraft Safety. The officers will report to their assigned regions across the Commonwealth next week to begin their duties.
“We are extremely proud to officially welcome this dedicated group of men and women to our Fish and Boat Commission team,” said Tim Schaeffer. “With an intense year of training behind them, these new officers are ready to serve millions of anglers and boaters in Pennsylvania and work to protect, conserve, and enhance our aquatic resources.”
Before graduating, officers undergo an extensive 52-week training program encompassing all aspects of conservation law enforcement. Following civil service testing and selection, trainees completed a 22-week Municipal Police Officers Basic Training conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police at its Northwest Training Center in Meadville, Crawford County. An additional 30 weeks of training was conducted at the Stackhouse school located in Bellefonte, Centre County, and included field training alongside seasoned WCOs. During their conservation law enforcement careers, the officers’ duties will be multifaceted and include patrolling the streams, rivers, and lakes in their regions; assisting with investigations; participating in public outreach events; and stocking waterways with fish.
“It’s a tough job, but I know these officers accept the challenge wholeheartedly,” said Eric Hussar, PFBC Board President. “I look forward to seeing them acclimate to their new regions where they will work side-by-side with anglers and boaters. The reward is knowing that every day they go to work, they will be preserving Pennsylvania’s great traditions of fishing and boating so that future generations can continue to enjoy the opportunities our waterways provide.”
The new Waterways Conservation Officers, their hometowns and assigned regions are:
• Emily Borger, Kunkletown, Monroe County. Assigned to northern Lake Wallenpaupack.
• Dina Cable, Bulger, Washington County. Assigned to southern Somerset County.
• Matthew Deitrich, Millersburg, Dauphin County. Assigned to southern Lake Wallenpaupack.
• Alec DeLong, New Tripoli, Lehigh County. Assigned to Lackawanna, Wayne, and Susquehanna Counties.
• Ryan Erdman, Liverpool, Juniata County. Assigned to southern Huntingdon County.
• Timothy Fuller, Conneaut Lake, Crawford County. Assigned to eastern Crawford and Warren counties.
• Sergio Herrera, Smethport, McKean County. Assigned to McKean County.
• David Seibel, Bell Vernon, Fayette County. Assigned to western Armstrong County.
• Peter Labosh, Telford, Bucks County. Assigned to northern Bucks County.
• Sean Lake, Wellsville, York County. Assigned to Franklin County and eastern Fulton County.
• Darrell Miller, Conneaut Lake, Crawford County. Assigned to Lycoming County.
• Shaina Painter, Rossiter, Indiana County. Assigned to Jefferson County.
• Kyle Robinson, Petersburg, Huntingdon County. Assigned to Mifflin County and northern Huntingdon County.
• Andrew Saunier, Conneaut Lake, Crawford County. Assigned to Warren County.
• Justin Schillaci, Transfer, Mercer County. Assigned to Clearfield County.
• Jonathan Stark, North Charleroi, Washington County. Assigned to Washington County.
• Aaron Steager, Millersville, Lancaster County. Assigned to Berks County.
• Nathaniel Yingling, Colver, Cambria County. Assigned to Cambria County.
• Brandon Young, Westmoreland County. Assigned to eastern Allegheny County.
In addition to welcoming the new officers, the PFBC is currently recruiting applicants for a new class of WCOs. The State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) will accept applications until July 18, 2020. Applications will only be accepted online. To view the announcement and apply, please visit the SCSC website at: www.employment.pa.gov. The class of trainees is expected to report for training in January 2021 and graduate in the summer of 2021.
Applicants to this class must already possess Municipal Police Officers Basic Training (Act 120) certification.
Successful applicants will complete required physical testing and enter 30 weeks of training conducted at the Stackhouse school located in Bellefonte, Centre County that includes field training alongside seasoned WCOs. Trainees will assist with investigations, patrol regions, participate in public outreach events and stock waterways.