The Forgotten Lawmen Part 2

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More About This Title The Forgotten Lawmen Part 2


Officer McCrea is starting his eighth year of service as a South Dakota Game Warden. His status as a naïve, rookie officer is in the distant past. He has matured professionally and has taken on additional, high-liability endeavors such as certified firearms instructor, head range master, and use of deadly force instructor. After just eight years he is bestowed with a tremendous professional honor: 1991 Wildlife Officer of the Year. He received this highest honor for his outstanding service to the public and his developing expertise in wildlife law enforcement. But his professionalism and dedication have come at a cost. Warden McCrea not only has to battle against committed, unrepentant poachers, he realizes he has to battle against two new and unexpected foes. The first is the ugly and demoralizing actions of state politicians, some of whom seek to diminish, even destroy, his profession. The second, and most disheartening, battle is waged against elements within his own agency. Specifically, the corrupt, unreasonable, often toxic actions and expectations of unsympathetic co-workers who simply refuse to recognize the seemingly endless demands placed on Warden McCrea and his fellow district game wardens. All the while Warden McCrea is engaged in a mission to catch and hold poachers accountable. That mission will bring him into contact with some of the most vicious, dangerous, and desperate outlaws in his district. Some will try their best to kill him. One is a serial killer. Against all odds, Warden McCrea perseveres and survives. The reason he survives so many close calls and near misses will shock and surprise readers. It is counter-intuitive, especially in the present-day environment where law enforcement officers are judged guilty until proven innocent by a highly-skeptical public. So get ready to experience a wild and largely unpredictable ride where danger and uncertainty is often just around the next corner. Go where Warden McCrea goes. Contact the people he contacts. After reading his many harrowing, true-to-life accounts, be prepared to answer the most compelling and challenging questions Warden McCrea had to ask and reconcile every time he geared up and went on duty: Will I survive my shift? Will I make it home safely? Am I making a difference? Is what I'm doing worth it? Does anyone care?


Born in 1960 in Philadelphia. Moved to Aberdeen, SD in 1968. Attended May Overby Grade School, Simmons Jr. High, and graduated in 1977 from Aberdeen Central High School. My mentor during my high school years was Carl Dauman who taught biology and advanced biology. His encouragement and support led to my receiving the outstanding biology student award my senior year. I attended South Dakota State University from 1977-1981 graduating with a BS Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. I worked a variety of seasonal jobs with the Department of Game, Fish, and Parks during summer breaks and after college finally landing my first permanent, full-time job in Chamberlain, SD in 1982. I was primarily responsible for fisheries management in the southern half of Wildlife Division Administrative Region 2. Over time I took on additional responsibilities, especially in the area of officer training. I was a certified instructor specializing in firearms training, use of force, Glock pistol armorer, and investigating fraudulent license cases. I often led the state in the most tickets and arrests per annum but I also knew how to use and apply discretion to my law enforcement efforts. It was never about the QUANTITY of cases. It was certainly about the QUALITY of cases. I developed relationships on a broad spectrum from the average sportsman to sportsman groups to private landowners and everyone in between. I wore the uniform with pride despite knowing I worked for the most despised and criticized law enforcement agency in the state. We battled poachers and radical landowner groups who wanted to privatize a public wildlife resource. We battled the state legislature that enacted game laws but really didn't want them enforced. They were seen as feel good laws that were more in line with suggestions or guidelines. I worked under four governors and only one supported game wardens. The rest actively agitated against game wardens, the worst being governor Marion Rounds who is now a US Senator from SD. He was so antithetical toward wardens he almost destroyed the profession. It was hard going to work each day knowing you had no support not even from your own agency. Corruption throughout upper level management and regional supervisory was extensive; the public would be appalled to learn how deeply the corruption penetrated the agency.I wanted to write this book because I had an interesting story. More importantly I want the public to have a sense of what it means and what it takes to sign on as a SD game warden. Our story has rarely been told. Wardens risk their lives every day. WHY? I hope to answer that question with this book.