- Associated Press - Saturday, June 4, 2016

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has 16 new conservation officers.

They graduated Friday in Lansing after successfully completing a 22-week training academy and earning the status of probationary conservation officer. The newcomers will undergo 18 weeks of field training with experienced partners around the state.

DNR conservation officers are certified police offers with authority to enforce all state laws.

They also have unique training in areas related to the outdoors, such as precision and off-road driving, survival tactics and first aid. They’re often involved in search-and-rescue missions for people lost in the woods, along with lifesaving and ice-rescue calls.

Michigan has 211 conservation officers, not counting the latest class of recruits.

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