SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is looking for its next generation of law enforcement. Open testing to qualify for the next class of Natural Resources Police is set for this Friday and Saturday at the South Charleston Community Center.

Lt. Colonel Dave Trader said they are looking for those who are self starters.

“Motivated people who can work well without direction. They need to have the knowledge and ability in the outdoors and have the aptitude to switch gears and self-learn. Those are the type of people we’re looking for,” said Trader on a recent edition of West Virginia Outdoors.

The agency expected to have nine positions to fill within the law enforcement section. Successful applicants need to be self-motivated because a lot of times, they’re on their own when they are on the job.

“You’re not going to have somebody over your back constantly telling you what to do,” Trader explained. “That’s actually the best thing about this job is that it changes throughout the year. ”

Officers are tasked with a wide array of responsibilities which are largely dependent on the season with hunting violations in the fall and spring to various water activities in the spring in summer. Officers can expect to operate a vast array of equipment including boats, ATV’s, and four wheel drive vehicles. Trader added while it’s good to have a solid background in the outdoors, you don’t necessarily need to be an avid hunter or angler.

“In this day and age, diversity in background is a great thing. You might be one who enjoys whitewater rafting, but you don’t hunt or fish. That’s okay because that’s part of the job. You may be one who likes hiking, and that’s also important because we’re out on the trails. Today’s outdoor recreation encompasses everything from bird watching to kayaking, to caving to hunting and fishing, we’re tasked with protecting the state’s natural resources.”

Since a lot of the work of the Natural Resources Police centers around the water, the first requirement is the ability to swim. During the test, applicants will be required to swim 37.5 yards fully clothed. If you can complete the task, you’ll move on to push ups and sit-ups. You’ll need 18 properly executed push ups in a minute and 28 properly executed sit-ups within a minute. The final part of the test is a 1.5 Mile run in 14 minutes and 36 seconds.

“The faster or the more you do, the more points you get, but those are the minimum requirements,” said Trader.

Applicants will be screened and interviewed over the course of several weeks before final calls are made on the successful candidates who will attend the State Police Academy.

Officers will start at a salary of $38,524 upon entering the academy. Upon graduation the officers’ salary increases to $45,788.

“If you’re looking for a job to have the ability to be in the outdoors, operating boats, ATV’s, and four wheel drives with an environment that changes every day, this is the job for you,” Trader said.

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