2017-07-12 / Front Page

Wildlife 911 – Lexington police officer writes book


Former DNR officer John Borkovich with his new book Wildlife 911: On Patrol. 
Photo by Margaret Whitmer Former DNR officer John Borkovich with his new book Wildlife 911: On Patrol. Photo by Margaret Whitmer LEXINGTON — John Borkovich loved his former job as a conservation officer.

But rather than regale his friends endlessly with stories about it, he decided to write a book.

The result is Wildlife 911: On Patrol, an entertaining collection of memories from his 27-year career that will give the reader a great overview of what it›s really like to work for the Department of Natural Resources.

“I love to fish. I love to hunt. I love the outdoors - that’s why I became a conservation officer,” said Borkovich, a Lexington police officer who has taught conservation enforcement as well as worked in the field.

“That’s why I want to take care of our fish, our deer, and our turkey, as well as our water, so we can pass these resources on to future generations.”

His book is a light and easy read, full of one- to five-page anecdotes of his experiences dealing with everything from polluters and poachers to weird cults and even potential terrorists - a perfect book for nature lovers who want a good snapshot of life in the field.

A conservation officer is also a fully trained police officer with arrest powers, and quite often Borkovich was called upon to put all of his skills into play when it turned out there was more than just conservation involved, he said.

Sometimes the pursuit of an out-of-season trophy hunter might turn into a bigger felony case or even a gun battle.

His own love for nature is what drew him into the field in 1985.

He also served as part of the DNR Firearms Transition Team and as firearms instructor, a Field Training Officer and instructor at the Conservation Officer Academy at Michigan State Police headquarters in Lansing.

He was an adjunct professor at St. Clair County Community College, both teaching and developing curriculum for conservation classes, and has received many awards for his work.

Today he works as a part-time police officer for Lexington and Yale.

His book indicates that success in conservation relies as much on keen insight into how people think as it does on tracking and crime scene analysis.

After all, people are animals too.

It also relies on respect and in some cases Borkovich would not affect an arrest, if he believed the person was not a hardened serial lawbreaker.

Sometimes humorous, sometimes touching or tense, Wildlife 911 is a good pick-up, put-down book for casual beach readers who would like to “ride along” with the men and women who work to keep Michigan’s rich natural resources safe and intact.

Published by Arbutus Press in Traverse City, it is available across the state, locally at Gander Mountain in Fort Gratiot, Yale Hardware, Ruby General Store, and Pro Bait and The Hock Shop in Port Huron.

If purchased on www.book@wildlife911officer.com, Borkovich will happily sign and customize it for free.

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