The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division is made up of over 200 agents working across the state in the eight enforcement regions. When LDWF is looking to add new agents, they announce a new Cadet Training Academy Program in the form of a news release. The job is also posted on Louisiana's Civil Service Web site under "Wildlife Enforcement Cadet." Candidates can sign up for an email alert that will remind them of the next "Wildlife Cadet" opening at the Civil Service website.
While waiting for the next academy, interested applicants can take the mandatory Civil Service Law Enforcement and Protective Services (LEAP) exam and get a score of at least 70 or above. Preference may be given to applicants with a score of 77 or higher. Applicants may apply to take the test by accessing the Civil Service website.
After taking the test, interested applicants can then focus on meeting the minimum qualifications to become a cadet at the next academy.
Minimum qualifications are:
Two years of experience as a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) level 1 certified peace officer in a full-time position, whose job duties include armed duty with the power of arrest; or
A minimum of sixty semester hours from an accredited college or university; or
Any two year combination of Options 1 and 2 above, whereby thirty semester hours will be equivalent to one year of experience; or
Completion of an associate degree in business administration, business management, corrections, criminal justice, law enforcement, forestry or a conservation related science from a technical college. Accumulation of technical college hours without an associate degree does not qualify; or
A completed diploma or certificate in a two-year program in business administration, business management, corrections, criminal justice, law enforcement, forestry or a conservation related science from a vocational or technical school; or
Four years of continuous active military duty (all Military Occupational Specialties apply).
Necessary Special Requirements:
Must have attained 18th birthday at time of application.
Must possess a valid driver's license at time of appointment.
An applicant who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or a felony, or who is under indictment on a felony charge will be disqualified until relief from the disabilities imposed by state and federal laws is granted.
NOTE: This job has special physical requirements in that the incumbent must lift heavy objects (50 lbs. or more), walk long distances, work in harsh weather conditions, fire handguns, rifles, and shotguns accurately and have the ability to operate vehicles, boats, and all terrain vehicles while in the performance of duties.
Once the job is posted at the civil service Web site, interested applicants must submit an application for employment online at www.civilservice.la.gov by the closing date. Paper applications may also be submitted via fax, mail or hand delivery to LDWF. If mailed, the envelope must be postmarked on or before the closing date of the vacancy announcement.
For more information about testing and application information, please visit www.civilservice.la.gov or call the LDWF’s Human Resources Office at 225-765-2850.
All Enforcement Cadets receive full state benefits and pay from the first day of training. Training will last six months and mostly be held on the east half of the 80-acre Waddill Wildlife Refuge in north-central Baton Rouge. Cadets train Monday through Friday and are allowed to go home on the weekends and holidays.
In the academy:
1) Cadets are first POST certified, which is required of all law enforcement officers of the state. POST (Peace Officer Standards and Testing) certification consists of; physical fitness, defensive tactics, firearms, state and federal law, proper law enforcement and arrest procedures, DWI detection and apprehension, standard first aid, and other various areas of law enforcement.
2) Cadet’s then receive specialized training in areas that are more consistent with that of an LDWF Enforcement agent. These areas include but are not limited to, more intense and extensive physical fitness training, defensive tactics, firearms training, ATV operator certification, waterfowl detection and violator apprehension, wildlife forensics, wildlife and fish identification, land and water navigation, extensive boat handling, enforcement of state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws, water survival, marine theft identification, and hunter education instructor certification.
3) Physical fitness training for agents is important because of the terrain that agents encompass. Very often, in order for an LDWF Enforcement agent to get to a location to begin the apprehension of someone violating the law, the agent has to be in very good shape. An agent may have to drag and ride in a pirogue, travel by boat in rough seas, ride an ATV over rough terrain, or walk a mile or more in the mud. This type of mobility is extensively required of agents, and therefore gives LDWF agents more reason to remain in top physical shape.
4) The defensive tactics and firearms portion of the academy are expanded to include those areas that are consistent with an LDWF agent patrol area. These areas include but are not limited to; marine environments, rural night operations, and boat operations.
5) Upon graduating from the wildlife enforcement-training academy, cadets are assigned to a designated parish where they undergo a closely supervised field training officer program. After successful completion of the field training officer program, cadets are promoted to LDWF Enforcement agents.