By Toby Livermore
Ever since I was a young boy I have been enthralled in the outdoors. I grew up on Lake Ontario in upstate New York, driving boats and fishing. My Grandfather taught me everything that I know about fishing and boating. The lake is where I had my first encounter with an Environmental Conservation Officer (Game Warden). I was fishing for bass with my grandfather when the officer pulled alongside our boat. I remember vividly how smoothly he pulled alongside us and very politely and professionally asked how the fishing was that day. His uniform was crisp and his boots were shined. He had a clean shave and his uniform fit him flawlessly. He checked our fishing licenses and measured the bass we had on board. He thanked us for doing things the ethical way and then gave me a sticker in the shape of his badge. I wore that sticker on my shirt for days until the stickiness wore out. I remember talking to my grandfather and telling him that I wanted to do that job one day! He told me that I could amount to anything I put my heart and mind too. Ever since that first encounter with a New York Game Warden I have always wanted to be one myself.
I have gone through many unique life experiences. Everything I have ever done in my life has been a building block for me to become a Conservation Police Officer. With the experiences I have gained, I have a wide array of tools at my expense to help me thrive in this career path that I have chosen and earned for not only myself, but for the people and the wildlife of the Commonwealth of Virginia. This job has been a dream of mine ever since I was that little kid on a boat with his grandfather fishing. I know have the opportunity to, and am living out that dream. I will perform this job to the best of my abilities and cherish every moment I have serving the Commonwealth as a Conservation Police Officer. I have never wanted anything more in my life than that Badge. I recognize it as a symbol of public faith, and I will accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I wear it.
This article was written by Conservation Police Officer Toby Livermore.