Brannon Meinkowsky, one of the four game wardens who work in Montgomery County, entertained and informed Rotarians about the warden’s work at the weekly Magnolia Rotary Club meeting on Sept 19.

               Meinkowsky has been a game warden for about 20 years, but he said he grew up in the profession, as his father was a game warden before him.  As a child, he was allowed to ride with his dad, so he knew just what the job involved.  After graduation from Texas A & M University, Meinkowsky had a game warden internship and went through the training to become a warden.  Game wardens in Texas are certified law enforcement officers and also must be college grads.  He noted that in a typical year, about 500 apply to become game wardens, but only 25 to 50 are selected for training.

               Game wardens have three main areas of responsibility: hunting law enforcement, fishing law enforcement and boating safety, Meinkowsky said.  However, being law officers, they may find themselves in situations where they are enforcing other laws as well.

               An example he cited is late at night, while looking for deer poachers, they may come across possible burglaries and make arrests.  

               Club members peppered Meinkowsky with questions on matters ranging from how alligators are removed from residential areas to what all the devices are that hang from a warden’s shirt and belt.  One he called attention to is the body camera, which he said Texas game wardens have been wearing since well before such cameras became an issue for other law officers.  He said he is glad to have the camera, as it records exactly what he says and does.  

               Meinkowsky praised the Montgomery County prosecutor system, as it backs up the game wardens better than in many other counties.  In urban counties, he said, lower level charges are likely to be dismissed, while prosecutors here follow through.