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For Release: Friday, July 8, 2016

Myles Schillinger Honored as New York's Top Environmental Conservation Police Officer

ECO Receives Officer of the Year Award for Outstanding Service

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Myles Schillinger of Saugerties received the 2015 "Officer of the Year" award from the Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association (NECLECA), DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

"DEC's Environmental Conservation Officers are on the front lines in their daily efforts to protect New York's wildlife, natural resources and its citizens," Commissioner Seggos said. "Throughout his career, ECO Schillinger has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment that have earned the respect of both the public and his peers. I extend my congratulations to him on this well deserved honor."

NECLECA consists of law enforcement chiefs from 13 Northeastern states, three Eastern provinces of Canada, and the United States and Canadian Federal Conservation Law Enforcement agencies. Each year, the club sponsors an award for the Wildlife Conservation Officer of the Year in all 50 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces and the territories of both nations, acknowledging the important role that Conservation Police Officers play in local, national and international wildlife conservation. NECLECA's award was presented to Officer Schillinger at its Annual Meeting in April.

In assessing candidates for this award, an officer's entire career record within their division is considered. ECO Schillinger was nominated by his fellow officers in Region 3 and chosen by the Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) Awards Committee as DLE's ECO of the Year, qualifying him for the NECLECA Award.

"On behalf of Region 3, we are very proud to present ECO Myles Schillinger as our ECO of the Year," said Region 3 Capt. Martin Townley. "In his capacity as an ECO, Myles has been one of the most consistent, effective members of DLE's enforcement unit. His cooperation and coordination of enforcement initiatives with his fellow ECOs and members of outside agencies, including the US Coast Guard, is outstanding, lending much support to the Region's efforts in protecting the state's resources."

ECO Schillinger has been with DEC since 1979 and has served in Region 3 for 37 years. In addition to his efforts in fish and wildlife enforcement, he enjoys being involved in outreach opportunities, especially youth education. ECO Schillinger has taught at several DEC Basic Schools and developed the first deer decoy course. ECO Schillinger has continuously served the Division as a firearms instructor, an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course instructor and a Defensive Driving Course instructor. Recently, Schillinger completed certification to become a Field Training Officer for new recruits.

ECO Schillinger was instrumental in several key operations conducted by DLE. In October 2015, ECOs Schillinger and Bob Hodor arrested 12 waterfowl hunters after hours of surveillance, which resulted in 20 summonses and more than $2,400 in fines. In August 2015, ECO Schillinger volunteered to work undercover in Region 2 as a father son fishing duo. As a result of that operation, 93 fish were seized and 19 summonses were issued for violations which included undersized and over the limit black sea bass, scup and fluke.

While on patrol in July of 1996, ECO Schillinger observed employees of a scrap yard draining fluids on the ground. The investigation resulted in charges against the owner for allowing waste fluids from scrap automobiles to enter the ground waters of the State and knowingly engaging in conduct that resulted in a release to the environment of a hazardous substance. The defendant entered into an Order on Consent, paying $30,000 in penalties, and the site is now listed as an inactive hazardous waste site.

ECO Schillinger lives in Saugerties with his wife Joan, son David, daughter Melissa and son-in-law Dylan. He loves to vacation at the family cabin in the Adirondacks, where he enjoys hunting, fishing and kayaking.

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