FWC News Release

Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585

"Patrol, protect, preserve."

The motto for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement was on the minds of 20 new officers Friday when they graduated as the FWC's 16th officer class.

At a ceremony at the Florida Public Safety Institute, near Tallahassee, they pledged their efforts to patrol Florida's lands and waters and protect and preserve its people and resources.

Col. Jim Brown, director of the FWC's Division of Law Enforcement, mentioned how FWC officers are the first point of contact most people have with the agency.

"This privilege carries great responsibility," Brown said. "As they interact with the public, I know these new officers will uphold our values: integrity, professionalism, dedication and adaptability."

As FWC officers, they will patrol Florida's lands - nearly 54,000 square miles of it - as well as Florida's nearly 6,000 square miles of water.

"These officers will be protecting the 'Fishing Capital of the World' and one of the largest public hunting systems in the country," said FWC Chairman Kathy Barco, the guest speaker at the ceremony.

The new officers began their training in January. The beginning part of each FWC academy teaches recruits basic law enforcement information and skills.

"During the final eight weeks of each academy, we focus on the unique information and skills it takes to be an FWC officer," said Maj. Mark Warren, head of the FWC's training section.

The specialized training involves firearms proficiency, wildlife identification, vessel operation, defensive tactics, all-terrain vehicle operation, detection for boating and driving under the influence and a focus on state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws.

The graduates will now spend three months with a field-training officer and are assigned as follows:

■Rafael Almagro - Miami-Dade
■Casey Anderson - Levy
■Christian Ariza - Broward
■Anna Baker - Brevard
■Caralyn Cain - Duval
■Nick Carman - Broward
■Alexander Diaz - Miami-Dade
■Richard Doricchi - Martin
■Brian Ferguson - Pinellas
■Jordan Fuscaldo - Brevard
■Paul Godward, II - Palm Beach
■Matthew Gore - Franklin
■Brandon Lewis - Broward
■Serdar Mert - Miami-Dade
■Brian Norris - Charlotte
■George Reynaud - Miami-Dade
■Stuart Spoede - Lee
■Austin Warne - Broward
■Daniel Willman - Brevard
■Aaron Wise - Hillsborough