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 tnwildlife.org.

Andrew Ward
Andrew Ward

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