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General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406

Additional Contacts: Aaron Reed, 512-389-8046 (office) 512-426-1017 (mobile) or 512-656-0106 (mobile); Game Warden Training Center land line: 325-948-3301

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — April 7, 2009

Media Advisory

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials will break ground on a new game warden training center

WHO: Cadets of the 54th Texas Game Warden Academy Class, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department senior staff, representatives from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and the Texas Game Warden Association and major donors to the Texas Game Warden Academy.

WHAT: Cadet field training exercises, training center construction groundbreaking ceremony, one-on-one interviews with cadets, TPWD leadership and major donors

WHEN: 9:30 a.m., Thursday, April 9, 2009

WHERE: Game Warden Training Center, 4363 FM 1047, Hamilton, TX 76531

Mapquest:

http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Hamilton&state=TX&address=4363+Fm+1047&zipcode=76531#a/maps/m::7:31.542563:-98.289069:0::/e

HAMILTON, Texas — For decades, until last year, Texas game wardens trained in a cramped, deteriorating space in Central Austin. Now, the Texas Game Warden Training Center has relocated to rural Hamilton County, west of Waco. Here private donors have given millions of dollars to build new facilities, but millions more are still sought to help train future generations of game wardens and support the continually expanded role of conservation enforcement.

This Thursday, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials will break ground on the first phase of construction for what will eventually be 39,000 square feet of instructional, administrative and living space. Journalists will see work underway to build some new facilities, plus they will see plans, interview experts and tour locations of future facilities. News crews will also witness the current cadet class training at the site. The 54th Texas Game Warden Academy Class is the first group of game warden cadets now training in existing facilities at the 220-acre campus.

Thursday’s groundbreaking marks the start of a public appeal to average Texans to help provide a solid future for Texas game wardens, who risk their lives daily to serve others and sometimes pay the ultimate price. A public-private partnership, the Texas Game Warden Training Center will be constructed on property donated by the Police Activities League and is being funded by the State of Texas and by donations from individuals and corporations.

The TPWD Law Enforcement Division is the primary "off-the-pavement" law enforcement agency in Texas. While their primary duty is the enforcement of fish and game conservation laws, they also are responsible for boating safety, disaster response and some aspects of homeland security. As commissioned peace officers, they may enforce all provisions of the Texas Penal Code. Game wardens constitute the second-oldest statewide law enforcement agency in Texas, and undergo the longest training of any peace officers in the state. TPWD is accepting applications for the 55th Texas Game Warden Academy cadet class.

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