Grohol to Head Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Wildlife Protection

NR076_14_Thomas_GroholHARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Protection has a new director.

Thomas P. Grohol, who most recently served as director of the Game Commission’s Southeast Regional Office, started in the position last week.

Grohol replaces Rich Palmer, who left the bureau director position to become the Game Commission’s deputy executive director of field operations.

Prior to serving as region director, Grohol worked within the Bureau of Wildlife Protection as its assistant director.

The Bureau of Wildlife Protection oversees enforcement operations performed by the approximate 200 full-time Wildlife Conservation Officers and about 350 Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officers statewide. The bureau also coordinates any changes to the codes governing wildlife and game laws, administers the agency’s prosecution system and issues special permits.

Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said Grohol has hit the ground running in his return to the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters.

“If you take a look at Tom’s 34-year career with the Game Commission so far, you get an appreciation of why he’s such a great fit in this position,” Hough said. “Tom has gotten to know the inter-workings of the agency at many different levels, and that knowledge he’s gained throughout these different stages of his career will prove invaluable in his new role.

“We’re pleased to have Tom back at the Harrisburg headquarters,” Hough said.

Grohol said he is proud to serve in this capacity.

“Wildlife protection has been the cornerstone of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and I am looking forward to working with the Board of Commissioners, hunters, trappers and agency staff in continuing to carry on the mission of protecting Pennsylvania’s wildlife resources,” Grohol said.

Grohol began his career with the Game Commission in 1980, when he began serving as a deputy wildlife conservation officer in southern Luzerne County. He was accepted in 1993 into the agency’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation’s 22nd class. Upon graduation, he was assigned to northwestern Lancaster County.

While a field officer, Grohol served as a defensive tactics instructor, verbal communications skills instructor and firearms instructor. He also served as resident instructor at the Ross Leffler School of Conservation for the 24th, 25th and 26th classes.

Grohol in 2001 was promoted to chief of the Bureau of Wildlife Protection’s Administrative Division. In 2007, he became assistant director of the Bureau of Wildlife Protection, where he supervised the Special Operations Division. He also served as the program manager for the agency’s Computer-Aided Dispatch/Mobile Computer/ Records Management System project.

A native of Elizabeth, N.J., Grohol grew up in Hazleton, where he served as a police officer for the Hazleton Police Department from 1986 to 1993. He earned an associate degree in forestry from Williamsport Area Community College and received his Act 120 Municipal Police Officer Certification from the Pennsylvania State Police Training Center.

Cheryl Trewella, the information and education supervisor for the Southeast Region, will serve as acting director of the regional office during the process to select a long-term replacement for Grohol.

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