Game Warden Special Teams
TEXAS GAME WARDEN: IT’S A JOB AS BIG AS TEXAS
For over 100 years, Texas Game Wardens have exemplified passion, dedication and commitment to protecting the natural resources of Texas. As fully commissioned peace officers, game wardens not only enforce fishing, hunting and boating safety laws, they also apprehend dangerous criminals. Game wardens often lead in search-and-rescue operations across the state and are at the front lines of the state’s border security initiatives..
Texas Game Wardens utilize a team approach to implement specially trained wardens into highly technical situations. These wardens actively patrol their assigned counties but when special situations arise they are called upon to put their expertise into action. Focusing on skill-specific training in key areas of expertise, the team approach has been validated time and time again.
The Law Enforcement Division has several specialized teams. The Team Lead concept is designed to seek consistency, by lending centralized support and specialized training opportunities for all Game Wardens. Each team exists on a statewide basis, available to deploy and help anywhere in Texas. Descriptions of those teams follows.
As the “Texas Navy,” Texas Game Wardens are tasked with the important role of maintaining the state’s maritime security. The Law Enforcement Division staffs a specialized unit comprised of specially trained, equipped and tactically proficient game wardens known as the Maritime Tactical Operations Group for maritime operations. It exists to enhance Game Wardens’ response capabilities during critical waterborne incidents or special maritime details.
Five specialized K-9 teams support the agency’s core mission and serve as a force multiplier in incidents requiring high-risk law enforcement response. These specialized K-9 teams supplement Game Warden capacity regionally as needed, serving as a valuable role in border operations, dignitary protection, interagency law enforcement assistance, and other similar law enforcement situations. Canines, equipment, and training are provided for handlers. Teams are currently trained in outreach and narcotics detection and that will expand to game and fish evidence location, locating evading suspects (manhunts), and cadaver location.
The SCOUT Team exists to enhance the Law Enforcement Division’s response capabilities during critical incidents or special details. Its missions and objectives include, but are not limited to, support of the Agency’s core mission, the Division’s regional operations, border operations, dignitary protection, interagency assistance and any incidents requiring high-risk law enforcement response. The team is designed around the Division’s unique law enforcement responsibilities, specialized equipment, and specially trained personnel. It is be capable of providing a security presence and specialized tactical response in Texas’ diverse eco-regions and marine environments. The team provides support to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and emergency response organizations that do not have the equipment, personnel or capabilities to provide such a response. There are approximately 25 members of this team statewide.
The Law Enforcement Division staffs a specialized unit comprised of specially trained, equipped and technically proficient game wardens known as the Search and Rescue Team (SAR). SAR enhances the Texas Game Wardens’ response capabilities during natural and man-made disasters, swiftwater rescues, and land-based search and rescue missions. They are available for all Texas' waters.
The Law Enforcement Division staffs a specialized unit comprised of specially trained, equipped and technically proficient game wardens who conduct underwater search and recovery missions statewide. From case evidence to victim recovery, this team is called upon to bring them all back from the deep. The team is drawn from all over Texas.
The Law Enforcement Division staffs a specialized unit comprised of specially trained, equipped and technically proficient game wardens known as the Forensics Reconstruction and Mapping Team. The team utilizes the latest technology with the most highly technically trained officers to reconstruct the most heinous of crimes through the use of 3D video reconstruction software.
The statewide team, consisting of nine Texas Game Wardens, apprehends thieves and recovers stolen boats. It also seeks to proactively prevent some offenses. The team itself acts as regional contacts for marine theft, tax fraud, and title fraud investigations. To date, this unit has recovered millions of dollars in stolen vessels and investigated thousands of fraud cases.
The team supports active, retired, and fallen Texas Game Wardens as part of their funeral services. The group honors retirees by sending a detail to attend their funeral, takes the lead in organizing Wardens who have died in the line of duty, attends funeral services for other fallen officers from other agencies, marches in various parades. Rank is not a consideration as the current Honor Guard membership consists of game wardens and supervisors alike.