Legislative Agenda

October 2018

Quint Balkcom, President

Quint Balkcom, President

President’s Message

Quint Balkcom

Hello, my name is Quint Balkcom, Captain Game Warden-Tyler, TX. I am honored to be the next president of the TGWA and GWPOA. I am looking forward to humbly serving the membership and constituents of both associations by working with past President Robbie Robinson and the Board of Directors to support our mission for years to come! I hope everyone has had a safe, productive summer and has fared well through the unpredictable heat that our Lone Star State is known for. We hope all of the many members, advertisers, benefactors, and contributors have had a productive year thus far. I wanted to take the opportunity to formally re-introduce myself and take the time to tell you about my family, career inside the agency, and my 16+ year membership of both associations.

Family:

I am the proud husband of Jennifer Balkcom (Business Teacher, Rusk I.S.D.) and we collectively have three children Sara (17), Cole (15), and Talon (10). Our favorite past time is anything water related, ranging from the salt water of the Florida coastline to our backyard pool. We love the outdoors!

TPWD Career:

I graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University and after a couple of attempts was blessed to have the opportunity to attend the 48th Game Warden Training Academy in March of 2002. I was stationed in Red River County, Clarksville, TX for little over two years and patrolled this rural hunting frontier. I later transferred and served the Northeast Texas lake country in Titus/Camp Counties for over four years. In the spring of 2008, I was promoted to Lieutenant Game Warden serving the North Coast of Texas where I spent over two years maintaining logistics, training, and supervised the 24 hour operation of one of our statewide dispatch centers. My family and I were again blessed in 2010 when I was promoted to my current position of Captain Game Warden in Tyler, TX. In my current position I supervise patrol and operations in 7 Northeast Texas counties as well as the operations of the TPWD Law Enforcement Office in Tyler, Texas.

GWPOA/TGWA Career:

I have been a member of both associations since the start of my career and have served as an active member in the past starting in Region VIII. I was the Region VIII, District 2 representative from 2004 until 2005 and moved up to the Region VIII representative position from 2005 through 2008. During my time of working with the association team we were able to finish the funding and construction of the Game Warden Museum in Athens, TX. We also finalized the acquisition of the property for what is now the home of the TGWA/GWPOA office and bunkhouse in Hamilton, TX.

I have been blessed with a rich history working for TPWD and volunteering my time for both the TGWA and GWPOA. It has been a long journey with a lot of challenges, decisions, and blessings. My dedication to the career as a Texas Game Warden, coupled with my passion to volunteer for the TGWA/GWPOA has allowed me to make many friends and build strong fortified relationships all across Texas. I believe my experience and dedication will serve to continue the tradition of excellence which we have enjoyed as being part of this team. Thank you for all of your continued support as we support the “Blue Badge”, protect all things wild, and conserve our resources for the enjoyment of future generations.

Sincerely,

Quint Balkcom
TGWA/GWPOA-President

GWPOA Legislative Agenda 2019

  • Item 1-Retirement issues and stabilizing fund.
  • Item 2- Supporting HB 1750.
  • Item 3- Increasing operational budget and supporting the department.

April 2014

David Sinclair Legislative Consultant 2014

David Sinclair Legislative Consultant 2014

  • Interact with the Employee Retirement System (ERS) to find ways to make the retirement funds actuarially sound by:
    • identifying additional funding;
    • exploring separation of the Law Enforcement and Custodial Officers (LECO) from the ERS Main Fund into a standalone LECO retirement fund; and
    • striving to obtain a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retirees.
  • Maintain salary parity among all Schedule C Peace Officers.
  • Retain quality, affordable insurance.
  • Collaborate with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on key issues that impact Texas Game Wardens.
  • Work with the State Preservation Board and the Texas Legislature to relocate the Texas Game Warden Memorial Monument from Athens to the State Capitol.
  • Identify highways where Texas Game Wardens have been killed in the line of duty and seek legislation to designate segments of those highways in memory of the individual Texas Game Warden.

December 2012

Hello from Albany, Texas. I hope everyone is having a good hunting season.

​I wanted to use this time to talk about the Association’s legislative agenda for the 2013 session.There are a variety of topics covered and I’m sure there will be other things that come up during the session that will need to be addressed.This is just our starting point for the session.

  1. We need to educate legislators and tell them what Game Wardens do for the people of the state. This includes enforcing the Texas Penal Code, Parks and Wildlife Code, Water Safety Code, Health and Safety Code, and all other state laws. Game Wardens are also involved in Border Security and Homeland Security, drug interdiction, natural disaster response, search and rescue operations and assisting local law enforcement with anything that they may need. As you can see, a Game Warden has a wide variety of “jobs.” I could give particular examples in each of these areas, but I would encourage everyone to ask a Game Warden about their experiences. It will mean more coming from the Game Warden that you know.​
  2. We need to work on getting more funding for fuel and patrol trucks. Game Wardens need to be smart in using their budget for fuel, but answering a call for service shouldn’t come down to having enough money in the fuel budget. We are not to this point yet, but we don’t want to get there. We are also driving patrol trucks that are closer to 200,000 miles than 100,000 miles and that is a huge safety issue. We need to work with TPWD to address this issue.​
  3. We are working to maintain parity with DPS and TABC in salary. We are all on the Schedule C pay scale and we see no need to for any separation from the other state law enforcement agencies.
  4. We need to address the State Auditors Report that says the state law enforcement salary schedule (Schedule C that I mentioned above) is NOT competitive with the salary structure of the larger police departments in the state. This hurts us in recruiting potential Game Wardens as well as retention of our current officers.
  5. We also need to watch and address any potential changes in retirement and medical benefits. We all knew that as Game Wardens, we were not going to get “rich,” but the benefits were stable and we could provide for our families. Any drops in these areas will also hurt us in recruiting and retention of officers.

​As I said above, this is just our starting point for the session. But right now, we feel that these issues are very important and need to be addressed. I would encourage everyone to read this and contact any member of the TGWA with any other thoughts or assistance. It looks to be another tough session, but I know the Association will be working hard on these and any other issues that will come up. As always, let me know if I can help in any way. Have a good hunting season and be safe.​

President Shea Guinn