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New conservation officers begin field assignments

Seven new Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officers (COs), including Mitch Lawler of Alexandria, are on the job following 16 weeks of field training.

"These officers were recently added to the 'thin green line' sworn to uphold the laws and regulations that defend our natural resources," said Colonel Jim Konrad, DNR enforcement division director.

The 16-week field training follows graduation from the 12-week CO Academy at Camp Ripley. During field training, each recruit is paired with an experienced conservation officer to gain on-the-job training for natural resources management and law enforcement-related activities before receiving their initial field station assignment.

Konrad noted that their recruits receive excellent training but are put through intensive field training with an experienced field officer to further their training.