44 Recruits Graduate from DEC's 22nd Basic School for Uniformed Officers
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the graduation of 30 Environmental Conservation Police Officers and 14 Forest Rangers from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's 22nd Basic School for Uniformed Officers. The 44 new officers received their diplomas in a formal ceremony at the Expo Center at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
"Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers work in communities across the state to protect and preserve New York's abundant natural resources," Governor Cuomo said. "I congratulate the men and women who graduated today and am confident these officers will carry on New York's rich tradition of environmental stewardship as they protect the health and safety of New Yorkers and visitors alike."
The Basic School began May 19 and ran for 29 weeks at the DEC Office of Public Protection's Training Academy in Pulaski, Oswego County, located along the Salmon River. Training and coursework included Environmental Conservation Law, criminal procedure, vehicle and traffic laws, physical conditioning, firearms, wildlife identification, emergency vehicle operations, search and rescue, land navigation, boating and wildfire suppression. The 22nd Basic School graduates are from communities across New York State and include:
Environmental Conservation Police Officers
ECO Stephanie D. Anderson, West Islip
ECO Aric J. Boyes, Neversink
ECO Christine M. Brussell, Oxford
ECO Garrett C. Cacciola, Northport
ECO Heather L. Carl, Westerlo
ECO Jacob A. Clark, Camden
ECO Evan P. Crisafulli, Colonie
ECO Shane M. Currey Jr., Buffalo
ECO Christopher M. Doroski, Troy
ECO Nicole B. DuChene, Oneida
ECO Daniel E. Franz, Rome
ECO Colton C. Garrand, North Bangor
ECO Murel E. Lovgren, Pulaski
ECO Casey J. Mangels, Cortlandt Manor
ECO Brent E. McCarthy, Hartford
ECO Shawn M. Michalet, Springfield
ECO Darren M. Milliron, Pulaski
ECO Jared F. Newell, Queensbury
ECO Lawrence S. Pabes, West Hempstead
ECO Paul J. Pansini, Staten Island
ECO Glen K. Parker, Fredonia
ECO Brennan M. Parmelee, Latham
ECO Connor S. Paschke, Saranac Lake
ECO Nicholas R. Perkins, Schenectady
ECO Joshua P. Schneider, Black River
ECO Dylan K. Schuck, Putnam Valley
ECO Alexander F. Shea, Eden
ECO April L. Small, Greene
ECO Loren W. Traynor, North Bangor
ECO Joshua K. Veloski, Springville
FR Anastasia E. Allwine, Syracuse
FR Griggsby T. Cowart III, Cornwall
FR Jenna K. Curcio, Cranberry Lake
FR Stephen W. Ellis, Tupper Lake
FR John S. Gullen, Tupper Lake
FR Scott A. Hicks, Islip
FR Steven R. Jackson, Selkirk
FR Daniel H. Jahn, Warwick
FR Tyler R. Mitchell, Guilderland
FR Jacob M. Murphy, West Monroe
FR John R. Scott, Buffalo
FR Jacob C. Skudlarek, Randolph
FR Erin E. Stoddard, Cicero
FR Cameron J. Sweeney, Kingston
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "New York's Environmental Conservation Police Officers and Forest Rangers have been serving on the front lines since the late 1800s, protecting New York's environment, natural resources, and communities. I applaud these recruits for selecting a noble career and have no doubt they will continue to safeguard the health of our air, land, water, and wildlife for generations to come."
In 2020, DEC will mark a critical milestone for the future of Ranger and ECO training, recognizing the legacy of these two public protection forces. Following DEC's acquisition of the former Cleveland Elementary School in Oswego County earlier this year, the facility will serve as the future home of the basic training academy forECOs and Forest Rangers. In addition, ECOs will be celebrating the 140th anniversary since the establishment of New York's first Fish and Game Protectors in 1880. Forest Rangers will be commemorating 135 years since their predecessors, Fire Wardens, first began patrolling New York's Adirondack and Catskill forest preserves.
ECOs, originally called Game Protectors, were first appointed in 1880 and undertake actions ranging from investigating deer poaching and checking fishing licenses on local waterways to conducting surveillance on corporate chemical dumping. Across the state in 2018, ECOs responded to more than 21,668 calls and issued more than 20,665 tickets.
Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Law Enforcement Director Bernard Rivers said, "This extensive and rigorous 29-week training course prepares our recruits to face a diverse workload of cases in both general law enforcement and environmental law. These men and women are committed to protecting New Yorkers from environmental pollution by enforcing clean air and water regulations, supporting fish and wildlife laws, and investigating major environmental crimes. I'm proud and thrilled for them to join our ranks."
Originally known as Fire Wardens, Forest Rangers were established in 1885 with the creation of the Forest Preserve. Their duties focus on protecting state lands and forests and include search and rescue missions, wildfire suppression and educating the public on the safe use of state lands. In 2018, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 346 search-and-rescue missions, extinguished 105 wildfires that burned a total of 845 acres, participated in 24 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 611 acres and worked on cases that resulted in 2,354 tickets or arrests.
Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Forest Protection Director Eric Lahr said, "DEC's Forest Rangers are entrusted to protect New York's vast natural resources and the people who come from near and far to enjoy them. The men and women we celebrate today have learned the essential skills necessary to provide public safety and enforce state environmental laws both in the mountainous backcountry and in communities across the state. I look forward to working with each of them in fulfilling our important mission."
The graduating class will join the ranks of 275 ECOs and 131 Forest Rangers currently serving across the state. Recruits in this newest class were selected from an eligible list of qualifications and passing scores generated from the most recent Civil Service exam, which was given in 2016. To view job qualifications for ECOs, visit DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov/about/746.html; for Forest Rangers, visit www.dec.ny.gov/about/732.html.