Deputy game wardens hired to enhance summer boating safety

Jun 03, 2018
Courtesy of: Maine Warden Service Deputy Game Warden Deputy Emily Tripp of Frankfort shown patrolling a stretch of the Songo River.

Since 2008, the Maine Warden Service has been working in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard to secure funding for enhancement of recreational boating safety on inland waters.

Using a grant obtained within the USCG’s Office of Boating Safety, six new deputy game wardens will be put to work to help manage Maine’s busy inland recreational boating activity, three of them from Waldo County.

Local hires are Marc D’Elia, 20, of Troy; Nicholas Johnson, 20, of Unity;  and Emily Tripp, 21, of Frankfort. The other three deputies are Morgan Jeane, 21, of Windsor; Keegan Nelligan, 21, of Abington, Mass.; and Will Reinsborough, 21, of Pownal. All six recently attended the Conservation Law Enforcement Program at Unity College.

The application process for becoming a deputy game warden begins in December of every year. Several months of hiring exams and interviews follow before final candidates are selected. The candidates must successfully pass all portions of each hiring phase which is not an easy task. Written exams, oral boards, swim tests, polygraph and psychological exams are all included since the process mirrors that needed for full-time candidates.

Those who successfully navigate the hiring process are then required to attend the Law Enforcement Pre-Service administered by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. In addition, the new deputies must pass training given by the Maine Warden Service, which includes firearms, water survival, and mechanics of arrest to name a few.

The deputies are paid an hourly wage of about $15 during their three-month positions that primarily encompass the months of June, July and August.

The program offers both the deputy and the Warden Service three months of career immersion to see if the path of being a Maine game warden suits both parties well. These part-time deputies might also have an opportunity at full-time work if their summer proves successful in the eyes of the Maine Warden Service.

Game Warden Lieutenant Adam Gormely out of the Gray regional office oversees the deputy game warden process and states “…it’s a great opportunity for them (deputies) to see what the Maine Warden Service does on a day to day basis and allows us to see how well they work in this environment. They contribute significantly to our law enforcement and educational role on the water as we oversee Maine’s busy recreational boating activity.”

The positions serve many outreach and education goals for the Maine Warden Service to include a heightened law enforcement presence on the water, educating the public on invasive plants like milfoil, the important of wearing lifejackets and as a recruitment tool for future game wardens.

One of the five deputy game warden positions is paid by the whitewater rafting industry. Therefore, Deputy Nicholas Johnson, will be headed to work out of Greenville and will be patrolling the Penobscot, Kennebec and Dead rivers.

Deputy Will Reinsborough will also be working out of Greenville and will focus on Moosehead Lake. The remaining four deputies will concentrate on the busy waters of the Sebago Lake region. Each deputy will be supervised by a full-time game warden during their work this summer.

 

 

 

 

Six new Warden Service boating deputies are pictured during employee orientation at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. (Courtesy of: Maine Warden Service)
Maine Warden Service boating deputies participate in firearms training. (Courtesy of: Maine Warden Service)
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