Herkimer County Officer Receives "Officer of the Year" Award From Shikar-Safari Club International for Outstanding Service
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Darryl Lucas was recently honored with the Wildlife Officer of the Year Award from the Shikar-Safari Club International.
"On behalf of DEC, I congratulate ECO Lucas for receiving this prestigious award," Commissioner Seggos said. "ECO Lucas exemplifies the tireless efforts DEC's law enforcement officers exhibit each day to enforce New York's environmental laws and ensure New York's environment and natural resources are protected for generations to come."
Shikar-Safari International Club was founded in 1952 by an international group of hunters interested in exchanging ideas about the sport and promoting ethical hunting of big game animals. Each year, the club sponsors an award for the Wildlife Conservation Police Officer of the Year in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and the territories of both nations, acknowledging the important part ECOs play in local, national, and international wildlife conservation.
ECO Lucas graduated from Unity College in 1988 with a Bachelor's degree in Science after majoring in Fisheries. He completed DEC's Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1992, and worked in DEC's Region 1 for 10 years before transferring to his current assignment in Region 6.
ECO Lucas has been a thorough, dedicated, and persistent officer for 28 years, always seeking to protect the natural resources of New York State. Growing up hunting and fishing on Moriches Bay on Long Island, Officer Lucas witnessed people violating fish and game laws at an early age. He was inspired to join the ranks of DEC's Division of Law Enforcement by his love of nature and inherent feeling of responsibility to protect it. Officer Lucas' drive is demonstrated by the long hours he has put in throughout his career to carry out his duties with honor and respect for the environment and New Yorkers.
While many of his 9th Academy classmates have retired, ECO Lucas remains on the job as a founding member of DLE's Special Operations Group, a team trained to respond to enhanced law enforcement responses in off road environments, including fugitive searches. He is also a Police Defense Tactics and Firearms instructor.
One of ECO Lucas' most notable cases occurred several years ago when he was on patrol looking for deer poachers. During the patrol, a vehicle stopped in front of his vehicle and with the aid of a spotlight, the driver shot out of the vehicle window to kill a deer in the field. ECO Lucas apprehended the subject soon after and made an arrest.
In his spare time, ECO Lucas enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, and duck hunting. He lives in Herkimer County with his wife, Nancy, and their two boys, Colton and Carson.