Officer On Patrol June 2005
A group of children with disabilities from Indian River Central School were treated to a special "field trip" consisting of a nature walk, picnic, and fishing excursion thanks to ECO Hazelton. Hazelton and his wife organize a similar outing each year at their property on the Chaumont River. Several of the children said they had never been fishing-or even been in the woods-but every child caught at least one fish while on the field trip. Each student sent the Hazeltons a hand-drawn picture and signed a note of thanks from the group for providing a great day outdoors.
ECO Gonyeau received a call from the Kent Police Department. The complainant reported that while hunting behind his house he observed a vehicle stop near an area where several turkeys had recently crossed the road. Shortly after the vehicle stopped, the complainant observed a shotgun aimed out of the driver's window of the vehicle discharge-killing a tom turkey. The shooter exited the vehicle, retrieved the bird, got back in the driver's seat, and started to drive away. The complainant quickly removed his camouflage hunting clothes-he was wearing his City of Rye police uniform underneath-and jumped in his police cruiser, which was parked in his driveway a mere 100 yards from where the subject had fired. He pulled the poacher over and detained him. The officer called the local authorities, who then contacted ECO Gonyeau. The poacher was issued numerous tickets for Environmental Conservation Law violations.
Mother's Day Bear - Cattaraugus County
In the early morning hours of Mother's Day, DEC wildlife biologist Tom Jurczak and ECO Pleakis responded to a nuisance bear complaint in the City of Olean. The City Of Olean Police Department had received calls reporting sightings of the 300-pound bear throughout the night. The bear was eventually found-in a tree adjacent to a large parking lot-and was given a chance to wander out of the city on its own, but would not cooperate. As the sun came up, a crowd gathered at the perimeter of the parking lot. DEC staff decided to dart the bear and remove it from the city. Jurczak used a tranquilizer gun to put the bear to sleep. With the cooperation of the police department, Olean EMTs "back-boarded" the sleeping bear and easily put the animal into the DEC vehicle. The bear was taken to local State Forest Land and was released unharmed.
Illegal Walleye-Broome County
At midnight on a moonlit spring night, ECO McCormick received a complaint reporting several fishermen at Rock Bottom Dam taking short walleye. ECO McCormick responded, carefully working his way to a spot where he'd have a good look at the fishermen. Soon, one fisherman walked down the shoreline and stopped directly in front of the hidden officer. He pulled two walleye from between the rocks on the shore. He put the fish in a bucket, then hurriedly packed up his things to leave. ECO McCormick popped out of his hiding spot and surprised the individual. The fisherman possessed two walleye shorter than the statewide limit of 15 inches. He could not produce a valid fishing license. ECO McCormick issued tickets to the fisherman for taking short walleye and for failure to carry his fishing license.
Real stories from officers in the field
Compiled by Bob Lucas
Director of Law Enforcement
- This article was taken from the Conservationist, June 2005 Issue