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For Release: Wednesday, December 23, 2020

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer Highlights

Recent ECO Actions

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 2019, the 288 ECOs across the state responded to 25,704 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 16,855 tickets or arrests for crimes ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

Two-thousand-and-twenty marks 50 years for DEC and 140 Years for New York's Conservation Police Officers. In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State.

"From Montauk Point and Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Our ECOs have worked arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes, for far longer than the 50 years since DEC was created. These officers are critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment and I am confident they will continue this important mission for the next 50 years and beyond."

If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

Wounded Warriors in Action - Town of Naples, Ontario County
From Dec. 10-14, DEC's Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) supported a Wounded Veteran Deer Hunt hosted by Wounded Warriors in Action and the Naples Veterans of Foreign Wars Post. DLE Lieutenant VerHague helped to organize the successful event, and the New York Conservation Officers Association generously donated several items and covered the cost of the non-resident hunting licenses for the three Purple Heart recipients that participated in the hunt.

DEC Responds to Winter Storm Gail - Statewide
Last week, ECOs, along with other DEC staff and state agencies, deployed personnel across the state in preparation for Winter Storm Gail. ECOs assisted with stranded motorists on highways, performed welfare checks, and responded to calls for assistance. The Officers utilized snowmobiles, tracked UTVs, and four-wheel-drive vehicles in Ulster, Schenectady, Albany, Broome, Fulton, and Warren counties. One crew of ECOs worked overnight with local responders to reach a subject having a medical emergency while stuck in his vehicle in more than 40 inches of snow.

ECO and Firefighter standing outside of their snow vehicle
ECO with local fire department responders in Broome County

Snowy road with a car stuck on the side of it, ECO in snow vehicle helps motorist
ECOs assist motorist in hard-hit Broome County

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