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AUSTIN — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department graduated the 62nd Texas game warden and state park police officer cadet class July 30 at the Texas State Capitol. The class included 23 game wardens and seven state park police officers.

Following their seven month preparation at the TPWD Game Warden Training Center in Hamilton County, the newly-commissioned state peace officers were recognized during a special ceremony that included a keynote speaker, oath of office and commissioning by senior-level department staff and TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith.

“We, the State of Texas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, along with the people in the communities in which you will live and work and serve and raise your families, will expect you to be pillars of strength and leadership, resolute in character and virtue, fair beyond reproach, and unfailing in response in times of disaster and duress,” said Smith. “When you are called for help, day or night, weekday or weekend, irrespective of the need or the cause or the caller for help, you will go and you will go dutifully.”

The graduates will begin their new careers stationed in counties and state parks throughout the state.

The 62nd cadet class brings a unique and diverse collection of skillsets and accomplishments; among their ranks include a licensed attorney, a high school science teacher, a former SWAT team commander, a Gold Gloves boxing champ, and a seasoned marathon runner with more than 30 races under his belt, including a pair of 50-mile events. Several in the class are military veterans, including a U.S. Marine who served on MP Squadron One, the president’s Marine One detail, and a 20-year U.S. Army special ops veteran with more than 120 static line airplane jumps on his resume. One cadet hails

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