PSC Alumnus Appointed Director of W.Va. Natural Resources Police

The following article appeared in the Cumberland Times-News in Cumberland, MD on Friday, July 25, 2014. Jerry Jenkins is an alumnus of Potomac State College having graduated in 1973 as a forestry major.   

by Michael A. Sawyers Cumberland Times-News  

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Col. Jerry Jenkins

— MATHIAS, W.Va — The new leader of natural resources law enforcement in West Virginia is a native of Hardy County, a graduate of Mathias High School and a field officer for 10 years in Mineral County.

Col. Jerry Jenkins takes the reins of the Division of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Section following the retirement of Col. David Murphy.

Speaking by cell phone to the Times-News on Thursday morning, Jenkins said he wants to construct a strategic plan to guide law enforcement efforts during the next three to five years.

“Unless you have a goal, you don’t know what direction you are going,” he said. “We need to take a look at our mission statement to see if it needs adjusted.”

Following high school, Jenkins graduated from Potomac State College and then obtained a bachelor of science degree at West Virginia University, before being hired by the DNR.

Jenkins was a field officer in Pleasants County and then worked in that role in Mineral County from 1978 to 1989 before beginning his ascent to the top of the law enforcement ladder.

During his career, Jenkins has been chosen district Conservation Officer of the Year three times and State Conservation Officer of the Year in 1989. He also has been named a Distinguished West Virginian and was awarded a Certificate of Honor for Heroism for his efforts during the 1985 flood.

The new colonel said he encourages the state’s citizens to support local natural resources police officers.

“Without their assistance we won’t know what’s going on. We depend on citizens to help us,” Jenkins said.

Dave Long, a retired natural resources police officer in Mineral County, worked with Jenkins.

“I look for good things,” Long said. “During my 30-year career he was one of the best field men I worked with. Jerry will have to deal with politics in his new job, but he’ll remember that his job is about what happens in the field. I know the officers in the field are happy with his appointment.”

In announcing that Jenkins would direct law enforcement, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said, “With nearly 40 years of experience as a natural resources police officer, Jerry truly understands the state’s natural resources laws and brings great expertise to this position.”

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at  msawyers@times-news.com .