Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Wildlife Conservation Officer David Lynn Grove

Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, November 11, 2010

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Reflections for Wildlife Conservation Officer David Lynn Grove

Lessons in loss of a wildlife officer

Posted on Nov. 6, 2020 Gettysburg Times

Wednesday, Nov. 11, marks the 10th anniversary of Adams County Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove’s death in the line of duty.

I wrote this editorial for the Times one week later, on Nov. 18, reflecting on “Lessons in loss of a wildlife officer.”

Adams County Wildlife Conservation Officer Darren David took a shift of sentry duty at the home of Dana and Lucy Grove in Waynesboro earlier this week.

Other Game Commission officers have been part of the round-the clock guard, as well.

Providing protection, realistic or symbolic, to immediate surviving family, is a law officer tradition when one of their own dies in the line of duty.

David’s partner in enforcing the Pa. Game Law, WCO David L. Grove, was slain on Schriver Road late last Thursday night after making a stop for suspected poaching.

Game and Fish & Boat commission officers have stood watch over WCO Grove’s remains since.

As the case progresses we will hopefully learn more about what happened when WCO Grove encountered Christopher Johnson and Ryan Laumann that night. Johnson has all but admitted to doing the shooting and we respect the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

In the early days since WCO Grove’s death we learned or have been reminded that:

• With the exception of those who actually wear a badge and those who love them, most of the rest of us take for granted the delicate balance of training, circumstance, luck and fate that can turn what seems routine, into horrible. Those charged with protecting and serving as police or other law enforcement, walk the same fine line as WCO Grove did. Some would elevate the threat to wildlife officers because most of those they encounter are armed, perhaps at night, perhaps have been drinking. The danger to them all is real and cannot be under-appreciated.

• That officers of the law will band together instantly to protect and honor those of their profession and fraternity. Officers responding as backup to WCO Grove got to him in a remarkable two minutes, although too late. Officers of all departments and jurisdictions then worked shoulder to shoulder from the moment the “officer down” call was made — toward one mission — finding the shooter to get him to justice and protect the public.

• That officers are efficient, prepared, patient, and genuinely care about the people and resources they are to protect. We know that through getting to know more about WCO Grove. He loved his job and, at 31, had every enthusiasm for a long career. The professionalism and dedication of those caring for WCO Grove and working the case, was made clear in the hours after he was killed. In his death, WCO Grove was able to restore and re-install our faith in the law enforcement brethren he leaves behind.

• We learned that faith allows those who face danger and perhaps their final moments in the next traffic stop, to do their jobs and do it well. Not only faith in their Maker, but faith that evil intention is not at the core of every fellow man.

Gary Becker, a wildlife conservation officer in Adams County from 1973-1986, survived being shot by a poacher in 1973. “It was close,” Becker says. “All but an inch and the grace of God.”

In the dark hours since last Thursday, WCO Dave Grove and his law enforcement comrades have shined brightly.

Retired Police Officer
NYPD

November 6, 2020

Today marks 8 years since this courageous and inspiring man was taken from us much too soon. While I did not know him personally, I have heard nothing but positive remarks and stories about him. He seemed to be very dedicated to the protection of the wildlife and wildlands he cherished as well as his faith in the Lord. Officer Grove, you are an inspiration to us all and an example of a true hero. I ask God to continue to comfort and bless your family, friends, and fellow wardens. Officer Grove, you will never be forgotten.

N. Green
PA Hunter/Brother in Christ

November 11, 2018

John 5:28, 29 - "Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out". I pray that everyone can find peace in knowing that we will see this officer as well as many others again in Paradise soon. Until then, please accept my condolences.

A.W. Montgomery
Concerned Citizen

October 2, 2018

Although i never met you, i know from my my interactions(positive) with other WCOs you couldn't be any different. Within a week of your untimely death, i layed flowers and a card at the site. I havent been in that area since, but in the next week or 2 i will be giving my mom a tour of Gettysburg battlefield and i will once again come by to pay my respects to a man i never had the honor of meeting, but am truly proud of the badge you wore. Had we ever met, we would probably have ended up the best of friends. Game wardens are, in my opinion, the most overlooked, but bravest in law enforcement. Chances are everybody you come into contact with is most likely armed, and you are most often alone while you make these encounters. May you rest in eternal peace with our heavenly father

Steve
Avid PA hunter

June 2, 2018

Rest in peace.

Lieutenant Ray Flores
NYPD (retired)

November 11, 2017

On Tuesday, May 9th 2017 I will be participating in the 2017 Police Unity Tour with Chapter 9. We will ride (bicycle) from Philadelphia to Washington DC and arrive at the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial on Friday, May 12th. I'll take a memorial card so David can travel with me... I hope to meet his family there when we arrive. David's memory will not be forgotten.

"WE RIDE FOR THOSE WHO DIED"!

Patrolman Tilghman Smith
Lanesboro PD and former DWCO

May 8, 2017

Dedicating each class session to a fallen brother. I am dedicating our next police to the memory of WCO David Grove. God Bless.

You are not forgotten.

Cadet David Bates

Cadet David Bates
IUP Police Academy Cal 20 Class

December 11, 2016

He died protecting the one thing he loved the most. Wildlife.

Deputy conservation officer Larry Farrel
Pennsylvania game commission

November 11, 2015

David I never got meet you I am a fisherman not a hunter I live in Washington state it was sad that you gave your life to protect the wildlife may god be with you

bryan k trent
self

December 29, 2014

A Hero now in Heaven, Always remembered and Never forgotten. David, I'm so sorry I never had the honor of meeting you, but I have come to know your parents and your sister well and actually consider them family. You would be so proud of them not only for honoring you but for all they do for everyone else. Keep watch over them David and your co-workers. You are so missed by everyone.

Kim Weigand - PA C.O.P.S.
Mom of Sgt. Mike Weigand E.O.W. 9/14/2008

November 11, 2014

THANK YOU SO MUCH, Job well done WCO David Grove the world,s better, safer, because of your service GOD Bless You Yours GREATLY you surely were welcomed Heavenly home son JOHN 15:13 Amen. the Smith family New Oxford, Pa.

children of God
friends in Christ

June 19, 2014

THANK YOU SO MUCH, Job well done WCO David Grove the world,s better, safer, because of your service GOD Bless You Yours GREATLY you surely were welcomed Heavenly home son Amen. the Smith family New Oxford, Pa.

children of God
friends in Christ

June 19, 2014

WCO Grove, on this 3rd anniversary of your untimely passing, I can remember it like it was yesterday, where I was, what I was doing, when your classmate at the Ross Leffler School of Conservation, Officer Madden, told me what happened..I will be praying for you and your family tonight, and I pray you rest in the best peace

Steve K
Pa Hunter Ed Instructor

November 11, 2013

In New York State the "jacking season" was the most enjoyable and rewarding part of the job. We all knew it is also the most dangerous.

I pass by the site of Officer Grove's gunfight on a regular basis. The memorial that is placed on the site is befitting the sacrifice and professionalism he exhibited that evening.

As you would expect the area is full of deer and turkey and even a resident bald eagle or two.

Rest in peace Officer Grove.

Jerry Desko - Retired
Lieutenant
NYS Environmental Conservation Police

October 22, 2013

Weather is getting cool Dave. WCO's are getting active on night patrol. Think of you often. We'll never forget...

Randy Shoup, Assistant Director BWP
PA Game Commission

September 26, 2013

RIP Officer Grove... Too many people forget about our wardens.

Anonymous
PA Resident & Hunter

June 2, 2013

Officer Grove You Will Never Be Forgot You Will Live On In All WCO In The United States And Pennsylvania.. God Bless You And Your Family. Thank You Officer Grove

Boy Scout, Rank Life Cullen Willock
PA Resident

November 19, 2012

Officer Grove, reading about your story, not just here on ODMP but all around the web has touched me greatly. We both attended and graduated from Christian schools in the Franklin county area and attended Penn State. You did your job well and it was obvious that you loved your career in addition to your family. Hearing the wonderful stories of people interacting with you all around the area have demonstrated to me what kind of a man you were. You ultimately gave your life in defense of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ,and if I could be half of the man you were I will count myself as a success in life. Perhaps most of all, your vibrant faith in God has impacted me; to here people describe your dedication to your beliefs gives me confidence that we will meet someday. God bless you and your family.

PA Resident
Civilian

November 16, 2012

Rest well my brother for your sacrifice was not in vain. As you take the watch in heaven we'll take care of it down here. May God bless the family both physical and law enforcement with peace and comfort.

"Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
Rev. Carlos Stapleton
JCSO, Chaplain Fairview VFD

October 6, 2012

God Bless

Dave
None

October 5, 2012

As a former park ranger, I understand your dedication to the land, and your dedication to enforcing it's laws. Not many know the dangers of patrolling the land... this is one of them. May you rest in peace and know that you will not be forgotten!

Glad justice has been served on this KILLER!

CO G. Clemmons
Colorado Department of Corrections & former NPS Seasonal Ranger

October 2, 2012

God Bless

Dave
None

October 2, 2012

Another "Hero" taken. May God grant you eternal peace. Prayers to your loved ones and to your department.

Det. Billy Russo (Ret)
Nassau County PD, Nassau NY.

October 2, 2012

Another "Hero" taken. May God grant you eternal peace. Prayers to your loved ones and to your department.

Det. Billy Russo (Ret)
Nassau County PD, Nassau NY.

October 2, 2012

My son is a Florida Wildlife Officer. In addition to his career He has a wife, two daughters, attends church and has an incredible life and family. I'm sure Officer Grove also had an incredible life. My heart goes out to the friends and family of WCO David Lynn Grove! God bless you.

Chaplain and Deputy Sheriff Mark Douglas
Lake County Sheriff's Office, Tavares, Florida
Septemeber 2, 2012

Chaplain & Deputy Sheriff Mark Douglas
Lake County Sheriff's Office

October 2, 2012

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