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For Release: Friday, May 18, 2012

National Wild Turkey Federation Honors Region 9 Environmental Conservation Officer

ECO Darci Dougherty Named 2011 Officer of the Year

Region 9 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Police Captain Frank Lauricella today announced that Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Darci Dougherty was named the "2011 New York Officer of the Year" by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). NWTF is a half-million-member grassroots, non-profit organization with members in all 50 states, Canada and 11 foreign countries. It supports scientific wildlife management on public, private and corporate lands and wild turkey hunting as a traditional North American sport.

"Officer Dougherty is a valuable asset to the Division of Law Enforcement and we are pleased to see her outstanding service recognized," Captain Lauricella said. "By investigating and enforcing violations, educating our youth, and serving with integrity, she and DEC's other committed ECOs perform valuable services that benefit our environment and our communities everyday."

ECO Dougherty began her career in December 2004 at the NYS DEC Division of Law Enforcement Training Academy in Fulton, NY. Her first assignment location was the Bronx, NY. Gradually she worked her way to Rockland and Orange counties and eventually was assigned to Region 9 in Western NY.

As an ECO in Region 9, Dougherty was assigned as a Non-Sector Officer (NSO), formerly part of the Marine Off-Road Enforcement Team, where she excelled at maintaining and operating DEC's boats, ATVs, snowmobiles and jet skis. In this position, she also circulated throughout the Region as needed to support Sector Officers, cover vacant positions or assist in special investigations. Recently, ECO Dougherty was assigned as a Sector Officer in Erie County.

Dougherty is an NYS Division of Criminal Justice Service Certified General Topics Instructor. She has taught Hunter Education in all three regions she was stationed, from the Bronx to Buffalo.

Throughout her career in Region 9, ECO Dougherty has worked collaboratively with law enforcement agencies and officers from all of Region 9's six counties to handle numerous cases involving fish and wildlife, resource protection and public safety. This past year, her abilities were highlighted in two cases involving Turkey Hunting. Through her effective interview skills and investigation work, both cases were brought to successful conclusion.

ECO Dougherty is the first female ECO assigned to Region 9 and was the only female Non-Sector Officer in New York State. She currently resides in Erie County.

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