Jason Warren has left the hustle and bustle of Summit County life for Wayne County's much more rural digs.
But his mission remains the same as a state wildlife officer: To protect wild critters, enforce Ohio's fish and game laws and help ensure that sportsmen and sportswomen have ample opportunity to safely enjoy themselves outdoors.
The 2003 Perry High School graduate and 2006 graduate of Hocking College volunteered for the switch from his assignment in Summit County for identical duties in Wayne County, located just a spell down the road but still technically in the Ohio Division of Wildlife's District Three (Northeast Ohio) unit, based in Akron.
Warren - the son of Tom and Julie Warren - said he always enjoyed the sciences and likewise coveted the thought of maybe some day working in the natural resources arena.
While at Hocking College - long known for producing wildlife officers - Warren felt a tug toward law enforcement as well. When he graduated from Hocking College with a degree in wildlife management Warren went hunting for a job in the natural resources field.
Working in the West as a seasonal employee of Ducks Unlimited Warren heeded the call to return to Ohio and apply for a state wildlife officer job.
"I knew that there were several hundred people who took the civil service exam and I was a little surprised to be picked on my first try," Warren said. "I was told that you usually have to apply a couple of times before being accepted. I'm glad that I took that flight back so I could take the test."
After completing the required Ohio Peace Officers training school and the Wildlife Division's extensive orientation program, Warren was assigned to Summit County. There, he served for three years before looking to Wayne County for a change of scenery.
"I wanted to go to a more rural county but stay in Northeast Ohio to," Warren said. "Wayne County seemed like a perfect fit."
Single, Warren says he still also finds time to hunt and fish; pursuits that as a youngster helped to eventually lead him to his chosen profession.
"I grew up fishing for steelhead and I know that I'm going to miss being closer to Lake Erie," Warren said. "But I like being a county wildlife officer. There's more opportunity to catch bad guys."
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn