By Molly Kirk
Photos by Courtesy of CPO Cory Harbour
Each month in the Conservation Police Notes from the Field email, we at the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) are going to highlight one of our Conservation Police Officers and find out what the job means to them.
Name: Officer Cory Harbour
Region and County of Assignment: Region 2, District 23 – Campbell County
What do you love about your job as a Conservation Police Officer (CPO) for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR)?
I love working in a specialized field of law enforcement where I get to protect wild animals in wild places with the freedom for independent and proactive enforcement/investigations. I enjoy that a Virginia CPO is ultimately a uniformed investigator, which requires officers to be self-motivated and adaptive on a daily basis. I also appreciate the diversity in enforcement and duties that the career offers, as how the activities we enforce change every couple months. I find it very rewarding to have a career where I get to serve the community’s needs while having the opportunity to interact and meet hundreds of people that are enjoying the all the outdoor opportunities that Virginia offers.
Something I frequently take for granted is how great it is to have Virginia’s woods and waters as an office, it truly is a pretty awesome experience and I feel blessed to have the opportunity. Lastly I am very grateful to work in a great district with guys I call my friends who I trust in some of the most demanding moments.
What inspired you to become a CPO?
I almost feel like the job was specifically engineered for my personality. Throughout my entire life I have been drawn to the outdoors, and I was at a point in my career path that I was ready to take a chance and throw my name in the hat for a dream job. I would imagine that my family’s characteristics and backgrounds had something to do with it as well. My father is a retired Virginia State Trooper, my brother a firefighter/paramedic, and my grandfather that was a sheriff. I definitely owe my wife and family a huge thanks for supporting my career as a CPO.
What line of work did you do before joining the Dept. of Wildlife Resources?
After graduating from Longwood University with a Business Finance degree, I worked a couple odd jobs before working nearly two years for a nuclear power plant maintenance/repair company. My last job before becoming a CPO was working for an accounting firm in the City of Lynchburg for nearly three years.
What wildlife and/or outdoor activities do you participate in on your own time?
I grew up hunting, fishing, and camping with my father, brother, and, grandpa. However, like most people, my hobbies and free time have slowly adapted and changed. Now, as a husband and dad, I still find a few days to hunt but I usually find myself doing family outdoor activities include fishing with my daughter, hiking as a family year round, and enjoying the lake and river during the summer.
What’s been your most memorable moment while working as a CPO?
This is a very difficult question to answer. I have certainly been blessed with many great public interactions, experiences, and, cases over the last four years. I would have to say a moment and day I will remember every detail clearly for a long time will be closing a felony hunting case and making the arrest when Colonel Cobb was riding with me for the day. The case closed somewhat effortlessly but a lot of good old police work and investigation went into the case prior to the arrest with the Colonel.
If you’re interested in a career in law enforcement with DWR, click here: https://dwr.virginia.