CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – Effective immediately, all West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) Police officers, now and forever, will receive a $6,000 pay raise.

Gov. Jim Justice made the surprise announcement at an event announcing the WVDNR’s new K-9 Program at the State Culture Center in Charleston on Tuesday.

“Our WVDNR Police officers do an incredible job every day protecting our state’s natural resources and keeping our state parks and forests, wildlife management areas, lakes, rivers and streams safe for folks to enjoy,” said Gov. Justice. “They deserve to be compensated for the hard work and dedication they put in day in and day out and I am proud to announce this pay raise, which I believe will help us attract and retain the best and brightest to this important role.”

According to a release from the office of Gov. Justice, the wage increase will be paid for with “an already-funded special revenue account.”

“We are grateful to Gov. Justice for his commitment to our WVDNR Police officers and all the ways he recognizes and supports the important work they do,” said WVDNR director Brett McMillion. “This pay raise is long overdue and will help us attract and retain the highly qualified officers we need to protect our state’s natural resources and to keep our citizens safe.”

WVDNR Police officers enforce state laws and regulations relating to “littering, forestry, state parks, environmental and solid waste, pleasure boating and whitewater rafting,” among other duties, the release said.

“We’re thankful for all the ways Gov. Justice supports our agency and the outpouring of support this year for the 126 dedicated men and women who make up the WVDNR Police,” said Col. Bobby Cales, chief of the WVDNR’s Law Enforcement Section. “They are widely recognized, highly trained and well respected within the ranks of our nation’s fish and game protectors. This raise will go a long way in recognizing them for all the long hours and sacrifices they make for our state.”

For more information about the WVDNR Police, you can visit

The full event can be viewed here.