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Whirley Awarded CPO Of The Year

CUMBERLAND — Serving as the Cumberland County game warden for the past seven years, Senior CPO Jessica Whirley has been named the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ 2014 Conservation Police Officer of the Year.

Whirley covers five counties (Cumberland, Prince Edward, Buckingham, Amelia and Nottoway) on a daily basis and she also has state jurisdiction; her job sees her constantly traveling throughout Virginia. The most exciting part of the job, for her, is that she never knows what to expect when she goes out to work in the morning.

“I love the job. I could be on the boat one minute and then be in the woods searching for a missing person the next minute,” she said. “We are trained to enforce and deal with all aspects of law enforcement,…so you just never know what you’re going to get into.”

In a press release announcing the award, Whirley is described as “an excellent investigator who always goes the extra mile, whether she is working a Wounded Warrior hunt, or using a hidden camera to catch a poacher committing wildlife crimes in Virginia.”

In 2014, Whirley’s affinity for trapping lead her to create, establish and instruct the first DGIF Trapping Workshop in the area. She worked with the DGIF Wildlife Bureau and the Virginia Trappers Association to create interactive lesson plans in order to provide participants with hands-on learning. The workshop, held at the Prince Edward-Lunenburg county line, was attended by 46 participants of all ages from all across the state.

Whirley readily tackles difficult assignments and volunteers for special duties when the need arises. “Jessica is a professional officer,” the press release notes. “Her hard work has established her as an enforcement leader in her district…Jessica has an enthusiasm for the job that is infectious and has firmly established herself statewide as an outstanding Conservation Police Officer.”

A Department of Criminal Justice Services Certified Criminal Justice instructor, Whirley serves on Division 24’s Defensive Tactics Cadre. She is one of the division’s field training officers and provides valuable instruction and insight to CPO recruiting officers.