DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer Highlights

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DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer Highlights

ECO Actions for Early- to Mid-November

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 2018, the 288 ECOs across the state responded to 21,668 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 20,665 tickets or arrests for crimes ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

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).

"From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from 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. "They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes. Although they don't receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment."

Recent missions carried out by ECOs include:

Youth Waterfowl Hunt - Brookhaven
On Nov. 9, 2019, ECOs Nicholas Nicholas, Rob McCabe, and Kaitlin Grady collaborated with the DEC Hunter Education program to mentor young hunters during Youth Waterfowl Weekend. The ECOs were paired with a junior hunter and set up in a blind on the Carman's River in Southaven County Park. The mentors gave hands-on instruction about waterfowl hunting, firearm safety, and decoy placement. In total, 11 youth hunters participated in the hunt and bagged several ducks for the day.

ECO and young hunters post for a group photo during their hunting trip
Youth hunters with mentors at Southaven County Park

Oh, Deer - Putnam County
On Nov. 20, ECOs Craig Tompkins and Charles Eyler III responded to Sunset Hill Road and Lakeview Drive in the town of Putnam Valley for a deer with a Halloween pumpkin bucket stuck over its nose and the handle caught in its antlers. Concerned citizens and the local SPCA reported that the yearling buck had been seen with the bucket on its head for several days. When ECOs Tompkins and Eyler arrived on scene at around 2:30 p.m., they corralled the deer down a narrow path between a house and a large wood pile. Eventually the deer ran into a fence and behind the wood pile where it was able to hit enough brush and sticks to knock the pumpkin bucket free. The deer reunited with a larger doe nearby and headed into the woods.

small deer with it's nose stuck in a jack-o-lantern halloween candy bucket
Deer with Halloween bucket on its head - set free in Putnam County

Trapped Deer - Dutchess County
On Nov. 20, ECOs Zachary Crain and Deo Read responded to a report of a deer trapped in a large Water Well/Supply Tank in the town of Amenia. A hunter discovered the deer when he heard a noise coming from the tank, which is approximately 40 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 16 feet deep. Two deer jumped onto the tin roof of the water well and fell through. One died and the other survived and was running around the tank bottom. The ECOs and four other civilians assisted with the rescue. ECO Crain and two others climbed to the bottom of the water supply tank. They cornered the surviving deer and tied it with some rope before ECO Read and another man lifted it out of the tank vertically. They untied the deer and it ran away.

ECOs standing in front of a large, tin-roofed well in the woods
ECOs Crain and Read at the water supply tank deer rescue

Over 100 years of Law Enforcement Experience - Saratoga County
On Nov. 13 and 14, Captain Karen Przyklek, Lieutenant Dawn Galvin, Lieutenant Doreen Lum from the 11th Basic Academy, Captain Elizabeth Haag, Investigator Sara Komonchak from the 14th Basic, and Sergeant Kati Reynolds from the 19th Basic attended the 10th Annual Women in Law Enforcement Conference in Saratoga County. Training included segments on leadership, health, and wellness, and included several dynamic criminal justice speakers in their fields of expertise.

Women ECO's pose for a picture together
Captain Haag, Investigator Komonchak, Captain Przyklek, Lieutenant Galvin, Sergeant Reynolds and Lieutenant Lum

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Basil Seggos, Commissioner

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