on Nov 21, 2013 02:20 PM • Views 2030

Top photo, from left, Claude Smith, Reggie Barker, Gov. Pat McCrory and Richard Rains. Bottom photo of Matt Criscoe, left, and Gov. McCrory.

Media Contact: Geoff Cantrell
919-707-0186
geoff.cantrell@ncwildlife.org

RALEIGH, N.C. (Nov. 21, 2013) — Wildlife officers with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have been honored with Governor’s Awards for Excellence, the highest honor bestowed upon a state employee. The awards were presented during the annual ceremony at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh on Tuesday.

“These award winners epitomize the best in public service,” Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement. “Going the extra mile is something they do every day whether they are in the office, in the field and, when required, when they’re off duty. We’re fortunate they have chosen to work for the people of North Carolina.”

Master Officer Matt Criscoe received the award for innovation and efficiency for designing an alligator trap/transport unit. This unit is being used to move alligators safely. Alligator removal is a dangerous activity and this device helps reduce injuries to staff and animals.

Sgt. Reggie Barker, Master Officer Richard Rains and Master Officer Claude Smith received the award for heroism and safety, for a water rescue they performed on the Cape Fear River in late May. A stranded kayaker likely would have drowned if these officers had not acted decisively and quickly.

“I am filled with great pride that wildlife officers received two of the 14 awards presented,” said Col. Dale Caveny, chief of the Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement. “Their efforts epitomize the core values of our division – to serve with professionalism, dedication, integrity, trustworthiness and fairness – and are representative of the efforts of this agency. The Wildlife Commission hires men and women who not only work hard while on duty, but have an impact in our communities both on and off the job.”

The annual awards are sponsored by the State Employees Credit Union Foundation and the Office of State Human Resources.