1. Who Do They Work For?
In Texas, a Game Warden must be over twenty-one years old, and must have successfully completed and have conferred at least a Bachelors level degree from an accredited college or university before he or she can even be employed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. All Game Wardens and Park Peace Officers are certified Peace Officers through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) a/k/a formally known as the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education (TCLEOSE).
2. Do they have the Same Power as Police Officers?
Yes, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 2, Article 2.12, (10) specifically states:
“The following are Peace Officers: … (10) [L]aw enforcement
officers commissioned by the Parks and Wildlife Commission;” ….
Chapter 2, Article 2.13, of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, further sets forth the Duties of all Texas Peace Officers:
(a) “It is the duty of every peace officer to preserve the peace within the officer’s jurisdiction. To effect this purpose, the officer shall use all lawful means.”
(b) “The officer shall:
(1) In every case authorized by the provisions of this Code, interfere with warrant to prevent or suppress crime;
(2) Execute all lawful process issued to the officer by any magistrate or court;
(3) Give notice to some magistrate of all offenses committed within the officer’s jurisdiction, where the officer has good reason to believe there has been a violation of the penal law; and
(4) Arrest offenders without warrant in every case where the officer is authorized by law, in order that they may be taken before the proper magistrate or court and be tried”….
Basically, the officers employed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have the same powers and privileges as all peace officers in Texas. Their primary duties include enforcing the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code and the Texas Penal Code as well any regulations enacted by the Parks and Wildlife Commission or the Texas Legislature. In other words, they have the authority to serve criminal or civil process, arrest with or without a warrant any person in or throughout the State of Texas for violating the law. In addition to their authority under state law, the game wardens also hold federal commissions by the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Department of Commerce for purposes of enforcing federal fisheries and wildlife laws throughout the state of Texas.