Posted on

Two new Conservation Officers have roots in Harrison County

Two recent graduates of the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources’ 27th recruit class have been getting hands-on experience with Southern Indiana conservation officers before heading back to the classroom for additional instruction.
Neal Brewington and James Schreck, both bachelors and both Corydon natives, are among the 25 persons to graduate Oct. 24 from the DNR’s law enforcement division class.
‘We’ve been doing everything a conservation officer does, but under observation,’ said Schreck.
As members of that recruit class, Schreck and Brewington received more than 600 hours of training in several areas, including river rescue; emergency watercraft operation; ATV operation, laws and accident investigation; waterfowl identification, and laws pertaining to fish, wildlife and watercraft.
‘It was pretty rough,’ Brewington said of the 16 weeks of training.
Schreck went to the training ‘physically prepared’ and found it ‘very paramilitary.’
About half the people who started the training dropped out.
Those who graduated are spending 10 weeks in the field before they report Jan. 5 to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy near Plainfield for an additional 15 weeks of schooling.
Schreck is a 1996 graduate of Corydon Central High School, where he and his twin brother, Jeff, were members of the wrestling team.
‘I knew since I was a freshman in high school that this is what I wanted to do,’ said the 25-year-old. ‘I’ve always been interested in outdoor things, like hunting and fishing, mountain biking and hiking, and was also interested in law enforcement.’
He earned a degree in conservation law enforcement at Vincennes University but didn’t meet the minimum age requirement of 21 to apply for the 1998 recruit class.
So Schreck completed a bachelor’s degree, in 2002, in exercise science at the University of Louisville and worked in fitness training. He applied a year ago November and was accepted to attend the DNR law enforcement division class.
Schreck was an intern with a conservation officer in Harrison County in 1998, and he’s worked security at the Harrison-Crawford/Wyandotte Complex to help ‘get my foot in the door.’
Brewington, 21, of Depauw, ‘was just barely old enough’ to make this year’s recruit class, he said.
He is a 2001 graduate of North Harrison High School, where his involvements included FFA. He earned a degree this year in conservation law enforcement from Vincennes University.
Brewington, who enjoys hunting and outdoor sports, said he decided to become a conservation officer while in high school. He worked one week as a counselor at Ross Camp near Lafayette. The summer youth camp, which teaches hunter education and offers outdoor programs, is for children and is sponsored by the DNR.
‘I find it rewarding,’ said Brewington. ‘We need to protect the environment and resources we have.’
His parents are Connie Hicks and Larry Brewington, both of Corydon.
Brewington will relocate to Miami County, where he has been assigned, after graduating from the ILEA next year.
Schreck has been assigned to Harrison County and will begin working here full-time after completing the training at the law enforcement academy. He is the son of Richard and Joyce Schreck of Corydon.