A York County wildlife officer was honored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources as the 2007 Statewide Officer of the Year.
Sgt. Richard "Todd" Campbell was awarded the title of statewide S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife officer of the year for 2007 during ceremonies held Friday, Sept. 28 in Columbia. Five other officers were also honored for their dedication in protecting the state’s natural resources through enforcement, education, special investigations, intelligence and records and staff operations.
The annual officer of the year awards and banquet are dedicated to the late Chief R.M. "Bobby" Gifford, highly regarded chief of natural resources law enforcement for many years. The S.C. Wildlife Officers’ Association, the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, the family of Chief Gifford and DNR together honored the state’s top officers. DNR Law Enforcement Col. Alvin Taylor praised the officers for their outstanding work and dedication as he presented the awards.
He has already made 235 cases, assisted on 188 others, issued 135 warnings, gave 42 presentations, and worked 357 night hours. At the beginning of the summer he had already made 44 boat cases including 1 Boating While Intoxicated and numerous negligent operation cases. He made over 20 dove cases, 13 of which were hunting over bait. He had an outstanding deer season, making over 30 deer related cases including multiple doe deer cases and 13 cases for hunting deer over bait. With very little waterfowl activity in his area, Todd still managed to make more than a dozen waterfowl cases consisting of 2 cases for taking ducks over bait, 2 cases for over limit ducks, four late shooting cases, and one for taking ducks during closed season. He has made 14 turkey cases this season with 10 of those cases being turkey hunting over bait. 69 of his cases were made at night and 51 of his cases were major violations.
"Going beyond the call of duty is routine for Sgt. Campbell. He constantly exceeds expectations in all aspects of his job," said Col. Taylor. "No detail is overlooked, and he can always be counted on to get the job done. He sets up details on his own and sees them through."
The following were selected as outstanding DNR officers for 2007 from each of the state’s four Natural Resources Enforcement Regions, Marine Law Enforcement Investigations and Education and Staff Operations. The statewide honor of Officer of the Year was chosen from these candidates:
DNR Officers of the Year, including the statewide title, were selected by a committee of key DNR law enforcement personnel and captains and rated in six categories: employment history; enforcement activities and specialties; awards, achievements and accomplishments; leadership, teamwork and attitude; family and community involvement; and outstanding cases.
Top men and women from across the state are chosen as DNR Officers of the Year because of their exceptional abilities in natural resources enforcement. Before assuming their duties, new officers must complete an eight-week course at the Criminal Justice Academy plus an additional five weeks of intensive DNR field training. Upon completion of the training, officers are also proficient in firearms safety and defensive driving.
South Carolina has about 235 full-time Natural Resources Law Enforcement officers who serve and protect the state’s natural resources by patrolling more than 31,000 square miles of the state’s lands and inland waters. Officers also patrol 750 miles of tidal shoreline and marine waters, to the state’s territorial boundary 3 miles offshore and beyond on special federal assignments.