TWRA Law Enforcement Support Programs
The TWRA Honor Guard is a team formed by wildlife officers throughout the state. The mission of the team is to represent the agency and honor the officer when he/she is killed in the line of duty, dies of duty, or is a retired officer who passes away.
Some of the ways officers are honored can include team members assisting the families left behind with funeral planning, Honor Guard presence during visitation/funeral services, and other customary services bestowed to fallen law enforcement officers.
While the team may be called to assist with ceremonial services such as the presentation of the colors occasionally; their primary mission is to honor the life of fallen wildlife officers, both active and retired and to support their families for the sacrifices the officer has made throughout their career.
If you have any questions about the program please contact Matt Majors at Matt.Majors@tn.gov.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Honor Guard fulfilled the final wishes of the Mr. Robert Ott who was laid to rest in Clarksville, Tennessee. Ott, a Vietnam Veteran, joined the U.S. Army at age 18, and then the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.
He went on to spend 10 years with TWRA as a part-time boating officer. As a lifelong hunter, angler, and boater, he asked to be carried to the gravesite in the back of a green TWRA truck.
TWRA was proud to fulfill this request to honor this public servant and great outdoorsman.
In 2014, the TWRA formed a chaplain program with a primary focus on its commissioned law enforcement officers. While the program focuses on TWRA officers, it also provides services to other TWRA employees, as well as other law enforcement agencies and the public.
Chaplains have been a part of military history since 1775 when they were recognized by the U.S. government and have served in every U.S. war since the American Revolution. Similar to the U.S. military, the TWRA chaplain program is based on three basic tenets: Nurture the living. Care for the wounded. Honor the dead.
This voluntary, faith-based, peer-supported program is designed to provide wildlife officers with an additional option for meeting their emotional and spiritual needs. Wildlife officers are called on to respond to incidents that involve death, victim rescue, victim recovery, or notification of next of kin. They also respond to natural or manmade disasters, which puts them on the front line to see and experience additional stress.
TWRA chaplains build resiliency by preparing the officer for his/her job and by strengthening the officer and his/her family. The chaplains are trained to bring hope and strength to those who have been wounded or traumatized in body, mind, or spirit by assisting the healing process.
They also participate in memorial ceremonies, services, and funerals which place emphasis on the worth and value of the individual. The TWRA chaplain program is another tool to keep our officers safe and fit for duty.
If you have any questions about the program please contact Lt. Greg Barker at Greg.Barker@tn.gov.