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For Release: Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sean Reilly Honored As Top New York Wildlife Conservation Police Officer

Marine Enforcement Unit ECO Receives Officer of the Year Award for Outstanding Service

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Sean Reilly of Massapequa, NY received the 2013 "Officer of the Year" award from the Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association (NECLECA), DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

"DEC's Environmental Conservation Officers are on the front line daily in their efforts to protect our wildlife, natural resources and citizens," Commissioner Martens said. "Throughout his career, ECO Reilly has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment that has 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, ten 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 Reilly at its Annual Meeting in April.

In assessing candidates for this award, the candidate's entire record with their division is considered. ECO Reilly was nominated by his fellow officers in Region 1 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 l we are very proud to present ECO Sean Reilly as our ECO of the Year," said Region 1 Law Enforcement Captain Timothy Huss. "In his capacity as a Marine Officer, Sean has been one of the most consistent, effective members of DLE's Marine Enforcement Unit. His cooperation and coordination of marine enforcement initiatives with his fellow ECOs and members of other marine enforcement agencies, including the US Coast Guard, is outstanding, lending much support to the Region's efforts in protecting the state's marine resources."

ECO Reilly has been a member of the DLE since 1996 and has served as a member of the Marine Enforcement Unit since 2001. In addition to his efforts in marine enforcement, he enjoys being involved in outreach opportunities, especially youth education. ECO Reilly has taught at several DEC Basic Schools and developed the Marine Fish Identification Course.

ECO Reilly was instrumental in several key operations conducted by his unit. In December, 2013 ECO Reilly played a vital role in the documentation of one of the largest seizures of uncertified surf clams in DEC memory. Working in hazardous, winter ocean conditions, ECO Reilly was able to coordinate the efforts of the Region and the Suffolk County Police Aviation Unit to ascertain that the surf clam vessel was working in uncertified waters near the sewer outfall of the Bergen Point Sewer Treatment Plant. The felony commercialization case resulted in the seizure of contaminated surf clams with a market value of $11,000.

In the fall of 2013, ECO Reilly helped bring to light an important felony commercialization case involving the unlawful taking of striped bass on the east end of Long Island. Throughout his career, ECO Reilly has seemingly been involved in most of the Region's significant marine cases, either making the cases himself or lending his support to get the job done.

With his years of experience, Sean readily shares his skills as a boat operator, training new officers and updating veteran officers on their boat handling skills. He shares intelligence internally and with key agencies throughout the region to keep everyone abreast of potential unlawful activity. Additionally, ECO Reilly works hard to keep the MEU vessels well maintained, a full time job in and of itself.

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