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Update: PA Conservation Officer Slain During Traffic Stop

Update: PA Conservation Officer Slain During Traffic Stop

Christopher Lynn Johnson is a person of interest in the shooting, police said.

Associated Press

November 12, 2010

Official Press Release from the Pennsylvania Game Commission:

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) David L. Grove was shot and killed in the line of duty while on patrol around 10:30 p.m., on Nov. 11, along Shrivers Road in Freedom Township, Adams County. Grove, age 31, of Fairfield, Adams County, was investigating reports of ongoing night-time shooting and possible poaching activity in the area.

The Pennsylvania State Police is leading the investigation into the killing of WCO Grove.

Prior to this incident, the last Game Commission Officer to have been shot and killed in the line of duty was Game Protector Joseph McHugh in Weatherly, Carbon County, on Nov. 7, 1915.

“We are shocked and saddened by the killing of WCO Grove,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "He was a bright, young officer who was dedicated to conserving Pennsylvania’s wildlife resources, and promoting our state’s rich hunting and trapping heritage.

“Our prayers and thoughts go out to WCO Grove’s family and friends, as we mourn the loss of one of our own.”

A graduate of the 27th Class of the Game Commission’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation, Grove was commissioned a full-time Wildlife Conservation Officer on March 8, 2008, and assigned to the southern district of Adams County.

Before being appointed a WCO Cadet, Grove had served as a Deputy WCO in Franklin County, from 2001 until 2007. Grove also worked at the Penn State University Deer Research Facility in University Park, Centre County, from 2003 until 2004.

Grove graduated, in 1997, from Grace Academy in Hagerstown, Maryland, and he attended Appalachian Bible College, in Bradley, West Virginia, from 1997 until 1999. In 2004, Grove earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science from Penn State University.

WCOs are responsible for administering a wide variety of Game Commission programs within an assigned district of about 350 square miles. Primary duties include law enforcement, responding to wildlife conflicts, conservation education, and administration of the Hunter-Trapper Education program. Officers also are responsible for supervising and training part-time Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officers.

After being accepted to the agency’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation, WCO Cadets are required to complete an intensive 50-week training program. Major subject areas of instruction include: wildlife management; law enforcement; principles and methods; wildlife laws and regulations; land management practices; public relations and conservation education; firearms training and unarmed self-defense; and agency administrative procedures. In addition to classroom studies, the training program includes temporary field assignments with experienced officers. Field training provides cadets with practical experience in law enforcement and other duties performed by Wildlife Conservation Officers.

Upon successfully completing the training program, WCO cadets are promoted to the position of Wildlife Conservation Officer and are assigned to fill vacancies throughout the Commonwealth. WCOs work under the supervision of a Region Director and supervisory staff, and generally work 40 hours per week and are eligible for overtime under certain conditions. Hours of work vary and often include nights, weekends and holidays.

In 1930, Ross Leffler, the then-president of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, proposed the establishment of a training school for “Game Protectors,” as they were called at that time. When the training school opened its doors in Brockway, Jefferson County, in 1932, it was the first such conservation officer training school in the world and served as a model for other states.

From 1932 until 1935, the Ross Leffler School of Conservation offered in-service training for Game Protectors. The Game Commission made the school a permanent facility and enrolled its first class of Cadets in 1936. The agency continued training new classes at this facility until 1986. In 1987, the training school was moved to the Harrisburg headquarters, which had just opened the doors to its current facility in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County.

NOTE: A photograph of WCO Grove to accompany this news release is available from the Game Commission’s website ( by clicking on “News Releases” in the “Quick Clicks” box in the right-hand column of the homepage and then selecting “Release #121-10.”

Note to Editors: If you would like to receive Game Commission news releases via e-mail, please send a note with your name, address, telephone number and the name of the organization you represent to:

SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission

FAIRFIELD, Pa. — A wildlife conservation officer has been shot and killed in the line of duty in central Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser says the officer was fatally shot Thursday night in Freedom Township, near Gettysburg. Feaser would not release the identity of the officer.

A neighbor told the Gettysburg Times she thought she heard gunshots before police arrived. Soon, dozens of police cars from across Adams County were on the scene.

Police were searching for a blue pickup following the shooting.

Feaser says a game commission officer hasn’t been slain in the line of duty since 1915. He would not immediately discuss the events leading up to the shooting.

Suspect vehicle: 1999 blue Chevy pick-up with the Pennsylvania plates, YWC-7472.

  • 041105-o-9999g-012_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    RIP borther

  • Quickley-b240_max50


    almost 4 years ago



  • Flags_and_stars_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    RIP Officer Grove

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    RIP prayers for your family and friends

  • Forethought_normal_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    PA has the death penalty and the Adams County DA plans to pursue it in this case. However, the death penalty is not enforced in this state and is basically meaningless. The scumbag will simply serve a life sentence. Rest in peace, officer Grove.

  • Mcso_patch_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Rest In Peace WCO Grove. Scary situation for the DNR officers to know that you are going to deal with people who usually have more ammunition and fire power than you do.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    God Bless Leo Grove and his family.

  • Img_0103_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    "felden47" While you are entitled to an opinion, I am asking that you show a bit more respect when rendering one. Especially in this forum.

    Thank You.

  • Img_0103_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Rest In Peace Officer Grove...Rest young man...We have the Watch.

    I can atest to the fact that being a "Conservation Officer" is no easy task. I was a Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officer back in the 90's. And there were plenty of times when I was totally out gunned in the middle of nowhere. I can only imagine what this brave Officer was like, as he went about his daily tasks of enforcing the many laws of his State. I can also atest to the fact that Conservation Officers do a hell'of alot more than most people give them credit for. I can remember doing everything from checking hunting and fishing license to performing traffic stops on Speeders and DUI suspects when there were no other Law-Enforcement Officers around. The simple fact is, CO's do everything in Police work as any Police Officer in any jourisdiction. And sometimes alot more. And I am sure that this brave and dedicated young Officer, was among the best of the best in our ranks.

    May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with him and his loved ones always.......Amen'

  • Garita2_max50


    almost 4 years ago



  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Rest in Peace Officer Grove.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    This sounded more like an advertisement to become a WCO then a obituary for a fallen Officer.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago



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    almost 4 years ago



  • Police_link_badge_max50


    almost 4 years ago



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