Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officer Honored by Regional Peers
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named Brad Hasamear the 2017 Colonel Bob Brantley Wildlife Officer of the Year at their annual meeting in Louisville earlier this week. Hasamear is a Senior Conservation Officer for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).
“Today’s conservation enforcement officers must be an educator, mentor, public relations officer, hunting and fishing promoter, search and rescue professional and law enforcement,” said Alvin Taylor, SEAFWA President. “Senior Officer Hasamear meets every one of these demands with a positive attitude, complete effort to each and every case and unwavering professionalism.”
Hasamear is the only officer assigned to Lawrence County, a large, mostly rural county that is home to two wildlife management areas, the Bankhead National Forest and the Tennessee River. As a testament to his maturity and work ethic, Hasamear schedules his work days in split shifts, sacrificing his off-time flexibility so that he is working during the most critical times of each day. He made 181 game violation cases in the 2016-17 hunting season, focusing his efforts on violations that create a danger to the public and adversely impact wildlife populations.
Hasamear’s knowledge of woodlands and waterways has made him an incredibly valuable member of ADCNR and partner to other law enforcement agencies. In 2016 alone, he was instrumental in locating and rescuing 11 individuals and rendering medical assistance within the Bankhead National Forest. Using his canoe, he rescued an elderly couple and their dog from rising floodwaters. He also assisted state and local law enforcement agencies with a suspect who had assaulted and injured four officers.
He takes public outreach seriously, engaging in youth hunting, shooting, and fishing events; hunter education programs; outdoor outreach programs; archery in the schools; and providing numerous talks to schools and civic group meetings.
“It is rare to find such a young man with the drive, impeccable work ethic and deep love for the protection of our natural resources as the State of Alabama found in Officer Brad Hasamear,” said Chuck Sykes, Director of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. “This combination makes him the blueprint for what the modern conservation enforcement officer should be.”
The SEAFWA Wildlife Officer of the Year Award is determined by nominations submitted to the heads of law enforcement from the SEAFWA states and territories. In addition to direct law enforcement, an officer is selected based on community service, outreach and education, interdepartmental cooperation and innovations that may be utilized by other officers and departments.
SEAFWA is an organization whose members are the state agencies with primary responsibility for management and protection of the fish and wildlife resources in 15 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.