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in memory of WCO david l. grove 

March 5, 1979 - November 11, 2010
Start of Watch - 2001 - End of Watch - 2010

Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer David L. Grove was shot and killed in the line of duty while on patrol around 10:30 p.m., on Nov. 11, along Shrivers Road in Freedom Township, Adams County. Grove, age 31, of Fairfield, Adams County, was investigating reports of ongoing night-time shooting and possible poaching activity in the area.

The last time a Game Commission officer was killed in the line of duty was nearly a century ago. Governor Edward G. Rendell had ordered state flags at half-staff until WCO Grove was laid to rest on Nov. 21 and he attended the funeral. Officers across the continent flooded the Game Commission with messages of sympathy and condolences. Law enforcement officers from every state attended the funeral. Citizens came out in great numbers to attend service and lined the route from the Waynesboro Area Senior High School to the Green Hill Cemetery to pay their respects to WCO Grove and his family.

WCO Grove was a bright, young officer who had dedicated his life to wildlife and the Great Outdoors. He loved to be around folks who shared his passions of hunting, fishing and wildlife conservation, and he took every opportunity to make a difference, whether as a hunter education instructor, a field officer or a private citizen. He even wrote for Pennsylvania Game News magazine recently. The article, titled A Shot in the Dark (PDF), discussed the dangers associated with night patrols for poachers. WCO Grove's pass-ing leaves a hole in our conservation community that will require considerable time to fill. He got around. He did a lot of good. He will be missed greatly.

A graduate of the 27th Class of the Game Commission's Ross Leffler School of Conservation, WCO Grove was commissioned a full-time Wildlife Conservation Officer on March 8, 2008, and assigned to the southern district of Adams County. Before being appointed a WCO Cadet, Grove had served as a Deputy WCO in Franklin County, from 2001 until 2007. Grove also worked at the Penn State University Deer Research Facility in University Park, Centre County, from 2003 until 2004.

Grove graduated, in 1997, from Grace Academy in Hagerstown, Maryland, and he attended Appalachian Bible College, in Bradley, West Virginia, from 1997 until 1999. In 2004, Grove earned a bachelor's degree in wildlife and fisheries science from Penn State University.

Born March 5, 1979, in Chambersburg, he was the son of Dana S. and Lucy R. (Straub) Grove of Waynesboro. David was a member of Independent Bible Church in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and attended services at Otterbein Church, Waynesboro. He was also a member of the Conservation Police Officers Lodge #114, the Fraternal Order of the Police, Greencastle Sportsman's Association, and the Blue Ridge Sportsman's Association. He loved hunting, fishing and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his brother, Chad M. Grove and his wife Anna of Martinsburg, West Virginia; his sister, Jennifer M. Grove, of Waynesboro; two nieces Mandy and Parker Grove of Martinsburg; his nephew Kayden Grove of Martinsburg; his maternal grandmother, Laura Budd of Harrisburg; his girlfriend, Angela R. Heare of Falling Waters, West Virginia; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has retired forever the radio call number 416, formerly the call number for southern Adams County Wildlife Conservation Officer District 4-01-2, in honor of WCO Grove, and replaced with radio call number 414. It is the first time this has occurred in the agency's history. All agency personnel were instructed to immediately take any and all actions necessary to ensure that no radio transmission to or from this call number shall henceforth occur. This order was retroactively effective as of 10:38 p.m., Thursday, November 11, 2010, the time and date of WCO Grove's last call. In addition, WCO Grove's Badge, #J2038, also was retired by the agency.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Fraternal Order of Police Conservation Officer Lodge #114 WCO David Grove Memorial Fund, 2445 Waldman Dr., Williamsport, PA, 17701; Otterbein Church, 801 Park St., Waynesboro, PA 17268; or Independent Bible Church, 2306 Hedgesville Rd., Martinsburg, WV 25401.