After months of intensive training in all aspects of being a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, 15 new officers are now working in their initial field stations.
“I’m excited for these new officers as they get started and am confident they will carry on the Enforcement Division’s proud tradition of protecting Minnesota’s people and natural resources,” said Col. Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division. “We demand a lot from our conservation officers and I have no doubt these new officers are up to the task.”
The new conservation officers bring with them a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some of them already were licensed peace officers and came through the traditional hiring process, while others had no law enforcement experience and took part in the CO Prep program, which prepares people with at least a two-year degree in any discipline to become a conservation officer. All the new officers attended the CO Academy at Camp Ripley from May through mid-August and trained in the field with experienced officers from then through Dec. 5.
New conservation officers and their stations are:
- Nicholas Ambroz – Waseca
- Matthew Brodin – Brainerd
- Levi Brown – Benson
- Nicolas Bruesewitz – Karlstad
- Sean Cannon – Cook
- Koleby Dingmann – Montevideo
- Justin Frisch – Cambridge
- Aimee Hand – Willow River
- Jake Homan – Wealthwood
- Sarah Jahn – Thief River Falls #2
- Brady Manteufel – Bagley
- Derek Peterlin – Brookston
- Landyn Saewert – Wadena
- Joe Scholz – Malmo
- Jamus Veit – Baudette #2
There are 155 field stations across the state, each covering about 650 square miles. While this year’s conservation officer class will cut down on the number of vacancies, there still will be more than 12 field stations without full-time, dedicated coverage. The DNR is holding a CO Academy next spring and plans to begin the hiring process early next year for a 2025 academy.