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March 22, 2010

Ultimate 'team player,' longtime DNR
Upstate region law enforcement captain retires

Captain Larry Holbrooks, a 36-year veteran with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the law enforcement captain over 12 Upstate counties, recently retired from the state agency. Colleagues referred to Holbrooks as the ultimate "team player."
           
Holbrooks, of Westminster, started his career with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 1974.

"Larry Holbrooks is first and foremost a team player," said Dan Rankin, DNR Upstate regional fisheries biologist. "He has a great appreciation for all of our natural resources, and always made a point toCaptain Larry Holbrooks work in partnership with DNR staff from all divisions to protect and promote our natural resources. Larry's efficient approach, unending dedication, professional demeanor, and staunch moral character define the qualities of a perfect law enforcement captain. Larry is a very personable and likeable person who genuinely cares about others on both a professional and personal basis. Despite his tremendous responsibility, and I'm sure high stress position, Larry always took time to smile, laugh, and share a kind word with co-workers."
           
"Larry was always a team player for DNR's mission in the Upstate," said Tom Swayngham, DNR Upstate regional wildlife biologist. "He was helpful, supportive and always provided sound advice with a strong dose of common sense."
           
"Larry is one of those people with talent and leadership that you cannot replace," said John Frampton, DNR director. "He had a tremendous amount of respect from staff members who worked with him, but he also had the unique ability to be able to work very well with the general public, oftentimes during very stressful situations, and had the ability to calm a situation down. Larry has exemplary leadership skills, and he was a tremendous asset to DNR."
           
Responsible for Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Edgefield, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union counties, Holbrooks was coordinator of the Oconee County Fishing Rodeo for almost 20 years, an event attended by about 15,000 children. He forged partnerships with many groups to make the rodeo a success. Holbrooks is an active member of many conservation organizations, including the Whitewater River Corridor Committee, Upstate Environmental Enforcement Group and Keep Oconee County Beautiful Association. He was also the DNR representative on WGOG radio in Walhalla and WRIX in Anderson, answering questions about laws and ethics on a call-in show.
           
Holbrooks was promoted to first sergeant in 1994, and was then promoted to captain in 2002. Holbrooks was Officer of the Year for DNR's District One in 1977 and in 1992. He received the Communications Conservation Award from the S.C. Wildlife Federation in 2002 and was the Outstanding State Employee for the Oconee State Employees Association in 1999.
           
Holbrooks is married to Wanda W. Holbrooks, and they have two daughters and six grandchildren. He is a member and deacon at First Baptist Church of Westminster.

The DNR's Law Enforcement Division is responsible for enforcement of state and federal laws that govern hunting, recreational and commercial fishing, recreational boating, and other natural resources conservation concerns. The division conducts South Carolina's hunter and boater education courses, as well as other outreach programs including the Take One Make One and Archery in the Schools programs aimed at introducing youth to the sport of hunting. The division is responsible for investigating boating and hunting accidents, and DNR officers regularly conduct search and rescue missions in outlying areas and assist other law enforcement agencies in investigations.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.


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