Forsyth County hires this Dawson County judge as its assistant county manager
Tarnacki has served as a magistrate judge in Dawson County since 2009.
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“Swiss Army Knife of Law Enforcement” Meet Savannah Miller: Department of Natural Resources Game Warden
Savannah Miller (left) is the Forsyth County Department of Natural Resources Game Warden, keeping outdoor activities such as Lake Lanier and hunting safe for everyone involved. - photo by Ben Hendren

There are few work days that feel like the one before for Savannah Miller. 

As the Forsyth County Department of Natural Resources Game Warden, every day comes with a new adventure for Miller. During the summer, she spends her work day on a DNR boat, patrolling Lake Lanier. 

“It’s different every day,” Miller said. “You meet a lot of great people out here. We work closely with the sheriff's office and the fire department. You get a lot of cool connections. Plus, you’re out on the water all day.”

The DNR is known as the “Swiss Army Knife of Law Enforcement” because of all the different responsibilities expected of them. Not only do the officers go through six months of academy training but are required at least two years of college. Game Wardens have special Boat EVOC training to learn how to stop their boat on a dime. 

Miller graduated from Kennesaw State with a degree in Criminal Justice. For the last three years, she has worked with the DNR, a dream she first had at a young age. 

“Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to go into law enforcement,” Miller said. “I love the outdoors and decided that there was no better career path for me than law enforcement outside, so DNR was the one for me.” 

Savannah Miller (right), Forsyth County Department of Natural Resources Game Warden, talks to patrons on a jet ski during her water patrol. - photo by Ben Hendren
A day on the water could be exactly what you think a day would look like. Stopping kids with jet skis, checking fishing licenses and making sure life jackets are being worn. However, disaster can strike at any moment. 

At Lake Lanier, Miller and fellow game wardens deal with drownings on a regular basis. Miller was even on the water during a boat explosion in early June. Through the turmoil that the job can bring, Miller said her team of officers always have each others’ backs. 

“We definitely support each other no matter what,” Miller said. “We check on each other and mesh together really well. Our end goal is giving that family closure. We can’t focus on anything else right now. We just want to make it as easy of a transition as possible.”

Miller works on the field, but the DNR has plenty of different teams to join. There is a repelling team, a K-9 unit, investigative teams and undercover teams. Game Wardens have a lot of the same abilities as regular law enforcement too, like pulling cars on the road over and issuing traffic citations. 

“We get calls out here for a lot of crazy things,” Miller said. “We also do our routine stops. We like to say that we’re the state troopers of the lake. We stop a lot of boats just like they stop cars on the highway. We do safety checks to make sure everybody has the proper equipment.”

Outside of the summer, Miller spends the majority of her time in the woods monitoring the different hunting seasons. In the fall, deer season takes precedent and Springtime is all about the turkeys, followed by duck season. 

“The job changes with every season,” Miller said. “You pretty much make your own hours, which is very nice. There’s so many opportunities and things you can get into. Whatever you find is your cup of tea, we have something for.”

As the days change for Miller, one constant remains: she is living out her dream job every day. 

“I love the job,” Miller said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”