Skip to Main Content

Q2 Newsletter- Conservation Police

Due to COVID-19, we are having to make adjustments to ensure the safety of our officers and staff.  We have taken measures to limit the contact our officers are having with the public by restricting license and creel checks, mandated solo vehicle and small boat patrols, and have our administrative staff teleworking.  We are down about 23 officers right now and are anxiously awaiting our upcoming hiring process so we can offer some relief to our officers who have had to take on additional work and calls for service due to the vacancies.  We are very proud of our officers and admire the courage they demonstrate daily as they deal with many elements of the public and especially with the risks they encounter with the extremely contagious COVID-19.

The process to have the Law Division accredited through VALEPC is well underway.  This is a cooperative effort between all ranks and levels of law division staff, Human Resources, and the Director’s office.  Lt. Ham, our Accreditation Manager, is releasing new General Orders (policies) to our staff on an almost weekly basis and we remain on track to become accredited as scheduled.

The Conservation Police Honor Guard had the distinct honor of removing and decommissioning the American Flag at Ft. Wool in preparation for the new seabird habitat on the property. Fort Wool has been converted to nesting habitat for the displaced terns as a result of an expansion of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.  The 20′ x 38′ flag was lowered from the 90 foot flag pole and folded with the highest of honors.  The flag was presented to the Hampton History Museum.

The new handlers and K9s compled their academy basic training on May 22, 2020.  They are all very anxious to get in the field to assist officers with cases and meet and greet the public at agency outreach events.  The new handlers and K9s are:  Bonnie Braziel and Grace; Mark Diluigi and Lily; Tyler Blanks and Bruno; Wes Billings and Molly; and Ian Ostlund and Reese. The Law Division was saddened by the passing of recently retired K9 Justice.  Justice had served the Commonwealth for nine years and was responsible for many great outcomes and made a positive impression of DGIF on more people than we will ever know.  Sr. Officer Billhimer and his wife, Molly adopted Justice and cared for him during his retirement and treatment. “It’s hard to put into words, the bond we shared. He was part of my family,” said Billhimer. “He was truly my best friend, who I fortunately got to take to work with me.” As you may recall, Justice was the co-star of the CPO Lip Sync Challenge video.

New Faces/Roles:
The Communications Center has welcomed Amy Bryant and Gavin Shaler as new full time Dispatchers and they are transitioning very well into their new positions.  The Training Academy has welcomed Ashley Hart as their new Administrative Assistant and we are glad to have her back in our division from her short time in Outreach after leaving Dispatch. Karen Winn was selected as the new Records Manager, assuming the position that was recently vacated by Carol Lee Bell.  Karen was very familiar with the position and is adapting well to her new role.


  • June 9, 2020