Department of Fish and Wildlife
West appointed Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division Director
FRANKFORT - A 34-year law enforcement veteran
will become the new colonel and director of the Kentucky Department of Fish and
Wildlife Resources’ Law Enforcement Division.
Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Gregory K. Johnson today announced the
appointment of Harry Joseph (Joe) West, a retired Kentucky State Police Lt.
Colonel and current Director of the Rangers Division at Kentucky Department of
Parks, to head the 130-member division.
West assumes his post Monday, Jan.12.
61, assumes his Fish and Wildlife duties after leading the Rangers Division for
the past 20 months. He retired from the Kentucky State Police in 2008 after
nearly 30 years of service.
“I’ve spent my entire professional life in law
enforcement, and now I am looking forward to these new challenges and
opportunities in conservation,” said West. “Honed law enforcement skills are
essential for every working officer, but being in tune with the community,
sportsmen and sportswomen, conservation clubs and boaters will be just as
essential to our Fish and Wildlife success.”
holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Law Enforcement and a Master of Science
Degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). He also is a
1989 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
his parents and older siblings are originally from Middlesboro, Kentucky, West
grew up in Lima, Ohio when the family moved to follow work opportunities. He
grew up hunting pheasants, rabbits and squirrels and fishing the Auglaize
River. He came back to Kentucky after high school as a walk-on football player
returned to Ohio briefly after graduating EKU and served two years with the
Oxford Police Department. He joined the Kentucky State Police in 1978 as a
trooper in Floyd County. He subsequently served in Franklin, Shelby and Spencer
counties, and worked the Executive Security-Governor’s Detail for 18 months.
was promoted to sergeant and served as a supervisor at Post 9 in Pikeville and
Post 12 in Frankfort. He was promoted to Lieutenant and Assistant Post and Section Commander at Post 2 in Madisonville in 1993. In
1997, he became Captain and Commander of the Internal Affairs Section. He was
promoted again in 1999 to Major and then to Lt. Colonel in 2004.
are especially fortunate to get someone of Joe’s experience and dedication to
head our law enforcement division,” said Johnson. “His experience with the
Kentucky State Police and State Parks, and his dedication to public service,
will help him and benefit us greatly in his new position here at Fish and
West resides in Frankfort with his
wife, Debbie. They have two adult sons. Christopher lives in Frankfort with his
wife, Jillian, and their son Wyatt. Nicholas is an Air Force lieutenant
currently deployed in Afghanistan.