The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

November 23, 2013

Wildlife Officers Honored with Governor’s Awards for Excellence


Saturday, November 23, 2013 — RALEIGH — 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.

About the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

Since 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state’s fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input. The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities. To learn more, visit