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Yates County ECO Receives “Officer of the Year” Award from Shikar-Safari Club International for Outstanding Service

Oct 31, 2022

Eco Josh Crain Honored as Top New York Wildlife Conservation Police Officer

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Josh Crain was honored with the Wildlife Officer of the Year Award from the Shikar-Safari Club International.

“From a young age, ECO Crain dreamed of being an Environmental Conservation Police Officer working to ensure New York's environment and public are protected," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “ECO Crain's recognition is well deserved and DEC applauds his exceptional work upholding New York's fish and wildlife laws, serving Finger Lakes communities, and educating fellow law enforcement officers, hunters, and future conservationists."

In preparation of reaching his lifelong dream of becoming an Environmental Conservation Police Officer, Crain attended University of Vermont where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science with a concentration in Wildlife Biology. He started his career with DEC's Division of Law Enforcement as part of the 16th Basic Law Enforcement Academy in 2004. After graduating the academy, his first duty assignment was in Region 3. During that time, Crain received a letter from former Governor David Paterson in recognition of his professionalism during the Region 3 Minnewaska Forest Fire response.

In October 2008, ECO Crain transferred to Region 8. During his time in Wayne County, he investigated several large cases ranging from fish and wildlife crimes to environmental quality cases. One noteworthy case ECO Crain worked during that time was the Halligan Manufacturing Incorporated spill of diesel fuel into the Erie Canal. ECO Crain tracked the source for the diesel fuel back to Halligan Manufacturing. The investigation resulted in the responsible party conducting the cleanup and paying a significant criminal penalty. In November 2012, ECO Crain transferred to Yates County.

ECO Crain is involved in the local sporting community, which serves as a catalyst in his effectiveness as an Officer. He is known for his work style that promotes education first and enforcement when needed. Crain has specifically been involved with organizing and participating in annual events that include the Yates County Youth Fishing Derby, the School of Holy Childhood Fishing Clinic, the Robert DeRoo Memorial Youth Pheasant/Waterfowl hunts, the Yates County Youth Turkey Hunt, and the Finger Lakes Regional Youth Deer Hunt.

Every year, ECO Crain co-teaches several hunter education, bowhunter education, and trapper education classes. He is a Division firearms instructor and field training officer. Crain regularly volunteers to co-teach several division and academy classes including freshwater fish identification, hunter/bowhunter education, and sportsmen education new instructor training, courtroom preparation, and field training officer school. Due to his exemplary work as an ECO, Josh was promoted to the position of Environmental Conservation Investigator in April 2022.

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 territories of both US. And Canada, acknowledging the important role ECOs play in local, national, and international wildlife conservation.

Photo attached courtesy of NYSDEC: ECO Crain receives 2022 Shikar Safari award (Lt. Christopher Didion, Mr. Alan Sackman (host), ECO Josh Crain, Major George Steele)