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For Release: Monday, August 20, 2018

Sullivan County DEC Officer Honored as New York's Top Wildlife Police Officer

ECO Ricky Wood Receives "Wildlife Officer of the Year" Award from Shikar-Safari Club International

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Ricky Wood was recently honored with the "Wildlife Officer of the Year" Award from the Shikar Safari Club International.

"DEC's Environmental Conservation Police Officers are on the frontlines daily protecting New York's wildlife, natural resources, and citizens," Commissioner Seggos said. "Throughout his career, ECO Wood has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment that has justifiably earned him the respect of the public and his peers. I extend my congratulations to him on this well-deserved honor."

Shikar-Safari International Club was founded in 1952 by an international group of hunters interested in exchanging ideas about the sport and to promote the ethical and conservation-minded hunting of big game animals, primarily in Asia and Africa. In 1966, the Shikar-Safari International Foundation was formed to support various wildlife conservation projects with funds raised by club members.

Each year, the club sponsors an award for the Wildlife Officer of the Year in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and the territories of both nations.

ECO Wood graduated from SUNY Cobleskill in 2002. He attended DEC's 17th Basic School for Uniformed Officers at the DEC Training Academy and graduated in 2007. After graduation he was assigned to patrol Suffolk County in Long Island and is currently stationed in Sullivan County, where he has been on patrol for the past 10 years. In 2013, ECO Wood was selected to train as a K-9 officer.

ECO Wood is a self-motivated professional who fully embraces his role as an ECO. His work ethic and enthusiasm set an outstanding example for other officers to follow. He often volunteers to speak at hunter education classes to promote ethical and safe hunting practices. He is routinely requested by the community to attend and speak at large events, including outreach sessions to educate the public on conservation and hunting laws. ECO Ricky Wood represents the Division of Law Enforcement with courage, pride, and professionalism.

ECO Wood was a Sportsmen Education Instructor prior to becoming an ECO, teaching for two years at Wawarsing Sportsman Club in Ulster County.

In his spare time, ECO Wood likes to hunt, fish, and spend time outdoors with his family. He also likes to spend time training with his partner K-9 Deming. ECO Wood resides in Hurleyville with his wife April and two children, Ashlin, 16, and John, 10.

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