Andrew Ward Named TWRA Region 3 Officer Of The Year

Monday, August 28, 2017
Andrew Ward
Andrew Ward

TWRA Region 3 Major C.J. Jaynes announced the regional officer of the year was awarded to Polk County officer Andrew Ward. This award encompasses the outstanding officer from the 24 counties within Region 3. Long hours, holiday work, time away from families and working in inclement conditions are parts of a wildlife officer often hidden behind the shiny shoes and a class A uniform seen at events. Wildlife officers are diligent, self-motivated and passionate about wildlife and fisheries.  Therefore, the field from which to choose this award is exceptional. Wildlife officers must excel in several areas including public outreach, teamwork, innovation, leadership, attitude and yearly achievements. 

Recipient Andrew Ward came to TWRA from the Cleveland Police Department in 2011. When asked what he enjoys most about his work Mr. Ward said, “It’s the job for anyone that loves being outdoors, hunting and fishing. It’s ever changing and I get to be involved in many aspects of wildlife management from black bear relocation and trout stocking.” A lifetime hunter, he credits his father for his love of his work. He said, “My dad had me out hunting when I was old enough to walk and I love being out there. He always told me to leave it better than I found it. Being able to protect wildlife resources ensures my kids will have the same experiences I’ve had.”

Mr. Ward also shared his love of teaching hunter education and seeing kids learn outdoor skills. This is reflected in the events he’s involved with throughout the year. Mr. Ward assists with theannual youth fishing event co-sponsored by the National Wild Tukey Federation and the U.S. Forest Service. He also supports a free day of fishing for a local elementary school and partners with the WinShape Foundation to offer kindergarten through fifth grade students a day experiencing the outdoors. His total efforts toward outreach have touched over 7,100 individuals this year. A United States Marine, he places high priority on giving back to our men and women serving in the military. He demonstrates his patriotism by participating as a guide and helps annually in a “Hunts for Warriors” deer hunt.

Mr. Ward also delivers environmental and wildlife programs in his community and surrounding areas throughout the year. One such event involves offering educational programs to each fifth-grade class in the Polk County school system. He presents on topics such as bear management and safety, trout management, hunter education, boating safety and woodlands biology. He also participates in the Four-State Wildlife Law Enforcement Co-Op Meeting, a meeting where wildlife law enforcement officers from North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, along with U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement officers gather to share intelligence about cases, persons of interest, equipment and law enforcement trends.

Mr. Ward is also a defensive tactics instructor, where he assists in the coordination and instruction of annual in-service training for wildlife officers across the state. As a founding member of TWRA’s Honor Guard, he presents himself and the message of the agency in a positive fashion. Sergeant Ben Davis said, “Andrew possesses the rare combination of being extremely well versed in the biology of the wildlife he protects, while maintaining a well-rounded, common sense approach in his role as a multipurpose wildlife professional. He’s an outstanding officer and very deserving of this award.”

Find out more about being a wildlife officer at

Andrew Ward
Andrew Ward

Research Continues To Be Conducted On Pygmy Rattlesnakes In Tennessee

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is once again assisting wildlife biologists at Tennessee State University in research to determine the distribution of pygmy rattlesnakes in Tennessee. The pygmy rattlesnake is listed as a threatened species in Tennessee and the research will help in conservation efforts to preserve the species in the state. Native to Tennessee, pygmy ... (click for more)

Permit Drawing For Sandhill Crane Hunt Aug. 11; Any Leftover Permits To Go Statewide Draw

A hand-held permit drawing for the sixth sandhill crane hunt in Tennessee will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Rhea County High School in Evensville. Tags at this draw are valid only for use in the Southeast Crane Zone. This will mark the first time that the draw will be held at Rhea County High. The previous draws were held at the Birchwood Community Center in north Hamilton ... (click for more)

Toned-Down UnifiEd PAC Effort Funds Coppinger, Fairbanks, Smedley, Sharpe, Gorman, Mackey

The UnifiEd PAC, which helped engineer a surprise County Commission election victory in May for political newcomer Katherlyn Geter, is not making public endorsements in the Aug. 2 election, but is putting its money behind a small slate of candidates. The financial disclosures for UnifiEd show the group strongly backing County Mayor Jim Coppinger over Democratic opponent Aloyse ... (click for more)

Juvenile Girl Who Was Shot On Doolittle Street Early Sunday Morning Has Critical Injuries

A juvenile girl who was shot early Sunday morning on Doolittle Street was in critical condition. Chattanooga Police responded at approximately 12:55 a.m. on to a person shot on the 2500 block of Doolittle Street.   Police were able to make contact with the victim at a local hospital where she was suffering from a critical, but non-life threatening gunshot wound. The ... (click for more)

Just Recuse Yourself

Pam Fleenor, have you ever heard the terms “conflict of interest” or “appearance of impropriety”? It’s a foregone conclusion that Robin Smith will be victorious in Chancellor Fleenor’s courtroom. Here’s another term you may want to re-examine, recuse yourself.   Rusty Munger (click for more)

Don't Let UnifiEd Take District 6

The UnifiEd APEX organization is working to remove Commissioner Joe Graham and has their poster candidate running in opposition to Michael Henry for School Board.   Please get the facts before you vote in the District 6 county races and reject the UnifiEd APEX candidates.   Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham and Michael Henry, School Board candidate District ... (click for more)