New deputy game wardens hired for Moosehead Lake
AUGUSTA — Since 2008 the Maine Warden Service has been working in cooperation with the US Coast Guard (USCG) to secure funding for enhancement of recreational boating safety on inland waters. Utilizing a grant obtained within the USCG’s Office of Boating Safety, six new deputy game wardens will be put to work to help manage Maine’s inland recreational boating activity. Those hired are Marc D’Elia, 20, from Troy, Morgan Jeane, 21, from Windsor, Nicholas Johnson, 20, from Unity, Keegan Nelligan, 21, from Abington, Mass., Will Reinsborough, 21, Pownal and Emily Tripp, 21, from Frankfort. All six recently attended the Conservation Law Enforcement Program at Unity College.
The application process for becoming a deputy game warden begins in December. Several months of hiring exams and interviews follow before final candidates are selected. The candidates must successfully pass all portions of each hiring phase. Written exams, oral boards, swim tests, polygraph and psychological exams are all included since the process mirrors that needed for full-time candidates.
Those who successfully navigate the hiring process are then required to attend the Law Enforcement Pre-Service (LEPS) administered by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA). In addition, the new deputies must pass training given by the Maine Warden Service which includes firearms, water survival, and mechanics of arrest to name a few. The deputies are paid an hourly wage of about $15 during their three-month positions that primarily encompass June, July and August. It offers both the deputy and the Warden Service three months of career immersion to see if the path of being a game warden suits both parties well. These part-time deputies might also have an opportunity at full time work if their summer proves successful in the eyes of the Maine Warden Service.
Game Warden Lt. Adam Gormely, who oversees the deputy game warden process, said “It’s a great opportunity for them (deputies) to see what the Maine Warden Service does on a day to day basis and allows us to see how well they work in this environment. They contribute significantly to our law enforcement and educational role on the water as we oversee Maine’s busy recreational boating activity.”
The positions serve many outreach and education goals for the Maine Warden Service to include a heightened law enforcement presence on the water, educating the public on invasive plants like milfoil, the important of wearing lifejackets and as a recruitment tool for future game wardens. One of the five deputy game warden positions are paid by the whitewater rafting industry. Therefore, Deputy Johnson, will be headed to work out of Greenville and will be patrolling the Penobscot, Kennebec and Dead rivers. Deputy Reinsborough will also be working out of Greenville and will focus on Moosehead Lake.
The remaining four deputies will concentrate on the busy waters of the Sebago Lake region. Each deputy will be highly supervised by a full-time game warden during their work this summer.