- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A group of 44 potential state conservation officers are scheduled to start recruit school.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the recruits are to report Jan. 4 in Lansing for the start of a 22-week training academy.

The academy consists of 14 weeks of basic police training and eight weeks of specialized conservation officer training.

The group of recruits consists of 40 men and four women. Eleven of the recruits are military veterans and two are previous law enforcement officers.

Conservation officers are certified police officers with the authority to enforce all of Michigan’s criminal laws. They also are trained in areas related to the protection of Michigan citizens and the state’s natural resources.

Twenty-three officers were added earlier this year.

DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler says the new hires have allowed the agency to “provide more rural policing throughout the state.”

Training supervisor Lt. Andrew Turner says the DNR is recruiting for the next class of conservation officers.

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Online: www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers

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