By MIKE WILLIAMS
Pulaski County and the surrounding area welcomes two new Conservation Police Officers fresh out of the Academy in Richmond.
Andrew Rohrer and Ronald Wood finished training at the state academy on April 8.
Rohrer will be based in Craig County, while Wood will be located here in Pulaski County.
Both men love the outdoors, and that love helped steer them to careers with the Conservation Police.
Rohrer, originally from Pennsylvania, entered the academy in September.
“I worked in corrections before. I was looking for a change of scenery but wanted to stay on a law enforcement path. Always had an interest in hunting, kayaking, hiking outdoors. This job aligns with those, so I pursued it,” Rohrer said.
Wood, originally from New York, said he did 16 years active duty in the military prior to entering his new job.
“I was a cop there as well. I wanted a job that allowed me more time with my family and to not deploy so much. I enjoy fishing with my kids and in my off time I’m usually fishing with them, so I wanted a job where I can protect those resources for other dads who maybe were active-duty military or whatever so they can have the same opportunity with their kids,” Wood said.
How did they end up in Virginia?
“I’ve been down here through Virginia hiking a lot and we both made a plan last year to try and get to Virginia. Craig is where we ended up and we’re super happy about it,” Rohrer said.
“My wife went to school here – at Liberty – she knew the area and fell in love with the Blue Ridge area, so we’re just fortunate to end up out here,” Wood added.
“They were two of the best to get out of the academy and we’re super happy to have them up this way,” said their supervisor Sergeant John Koloda, who is originally from Radford.
“They’ll do anything from woods to waters,” Koloda said. “We’re basically the law enforcement for the woods, the lakes, the rivers – anything like that. You’re liable to see them hiding in the bushes anywhere.”
“They’re here to be part of the community and are looking forward to getting involved in all the normal activities,” Koloda noted.
Koloda took the opportunity to remind area residents that the Conservation Police, a division of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, has a 24-hour wildlife crime tip line. Anyone seeing someone violating the law can call 1-800-237-5712 to make a report.
If you haven’t run up on Rohrer or Woods yet, you can meet them on May 7 at the Kids Fishing Day event. They’ll both be there.