The chapter’s guest speaker for the August member’s dinner meeting was Joel Wiedel. Joel is a Virginia Conservation Police Officer. Officer Wiedel is a Virginia native born and raised in Surry. He is also a United States Marine veteran, graduated from Virginia Weslyan University and served as a Norfolk City Policeman prior to becoming a Conservation Police Officer. As a Conservation Police Officer, formerly known as a Game Warden, he is assigned to the 13th District. This area includes Suffolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.
During Officer Wiedel’s talk he discussed the differences as well as the overlapping responsibilities of the Virginia Marine Police and the Virginia Conservation Police. He explained some of his duties which included boat patrols of the areas rivers and creeks, watercraft inspections, involvement with search and rescue operations and the enforcement of hunting and fishing regulations.
Officer Wiedel finished up the discussion by answering questions from members. Topics discussed ranged from dog hunting issues to issuing kill permits for deer and bear to farmers in order to limit damage to their crops. He also explained how his job is to educate people regarding rules and regulations as well as issuing citations for violations.