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For Release: Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vern Bauer Honored As Top New York Wildlife Conservation Officer

Delaware County Officer Receives Officer of the Year Award for Outstanding Service

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Vern Bauer received the 2011 "Officer of the Year" award from the Shikar-Safari Club International, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

"ECO Bauer has demonstrated a true commitment to protecting our state's natural resources," said Commissioner Martens. "Officer Bauer has worked diligently in his time with DEC to enforce the state's environmental conservation laws focusing on Fish and Wildlife and I congratulate him on this well deserved honor from Shikar-Safari Club International."

Shikar-Safari Club International was founded in 1952 by an international group of hunters interested in exchanging ideas about the sport. Each year the club sponsors an award for the Wildlife Conservation Police Officer of the Year in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces and the territories of both nations, acknowledging the important part ECOs play in local, national and international wildlife conservation.

Bauer was born and raised in Queens, NY and attended Hartwick College where he earned his bachelor's degree. He graduated from the Environmental Conservation Police Academy in 2000, a 26-week residential police academy held at SUNY Oswego, and was awarded the Outstanding ECO Recruit for the 13th Basic Academy. ECO Bauer was assigned to DEC's Region 1 and patrolled northern Nassau County until he transferred to Region 4's Delaware County in 2002, where he worked considerably more Fish and Game enforcement than in his previous assignment.

ECO Bauer has been recognized for numerous high quality Fish and Wildlife cases involving trout, deer, bear, turkey, waterfowl, timber rattlesnakes and bald eagles. Two such cases were highlighted in the 2008-09 and 2011-12 NYS Hunting and Trapping Guides. The first involved the killing of four illegal deer and two turkeys. The second involved the illegal killing of six deer. ECO Bauer uses skilled interview techniques and all tools at his disposal, including K9, social media and DNA or ballistics testing to make his cases.

In 2007, ECO Bauer was the recipient of DLE's Samuel S. Taylor Award for his response to the armed confrontation between state police and Travis Trim. In 2009, Bauer was nominated as Region 4 ECO of the Year.

Bauer is a Division of Criminal Justice Services certified police instructor in General Topics, Physical Fitness, Defensive Tactics and Firearms. He currently serves as Region 4's Sr. Firearms Instructor. Additionally, he became a certified Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicle Emissions Inspector, RADAR operator and member of the R4 Chemical Immobilization Team to address the enforcement needs and issues in his sector/zone.

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