WV DNR News Release
5

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Jim Justice, Governor
Stephen S. McDaniel, Director

News Release: March 9, 2017


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Media Contact: Samantha Smith 304-957-9364 Samantha.Smith@wv.gov

Contact:

Col. Jerry Jenkins, DNR Law Enforcement Section Chief 304-558-2784 DNR.Law@wv.gov

Natural Resources Police Officers of the Year for 2016 announced

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has announced that Joshua Toner has been chosen as the 2016 West Virginia Natural Resources Police Officer of the Year. The award was announced during the Natural Resources Commission’s meeting Feb. 12, 2917, at WVDNR Headquarters in South Charleston. Officer Toner will represent WVDNR at the annual conference of the Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Oct. 29 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Each of WVDNR’s six districts nominates an outstanding officer for the annual award, based upon their successful law enforcement efforts, community involvement and overall effectiveness during the previous year. Those officers received District Officer of the Year awards at the meeting.

NRPO Joshua Toner, West Virginia Officer of the Year, Dist. 4 (Fayette, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming counties)
Officer Toner was recognized for his successful efforts to break illegal ginseng operations in the southern counties. He also is a skilled firearms instructor who volunteers his time to provide extra training to his fellow officers and to educate the public about the role of natural resources police officers.

NRPO Joshua Prickett, Dist. 1 Officer of the Year (Barbour, Brooke, Hancock, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Taylor, Tucker and Wetzel counties)
Officer Prickett was recognized for his plan for saturation patrols of officers that resulted in the arrest and conviction of nine individuals for deer poaching. He has technology skills that he shares with fellow officers and has volunteered for training in projects such as instructor development and the Archery in the Schools Program. He also is a firearms instructor and a DNR field training officer.

NRPO Adam Kuykendall, Dist. 2 Officer of the Year (Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton counties)
Officer Kuykendall was recognized for his leadership role in the search and rescue of a kayaker in Hopeville Gorge who had become stranded in darkness and suffered from hypothermia. He also was involved in several wildlife poaching investigations, arrests and convictions. His community service includes helping establish the Archery in the Schools program in Grant County schools, JAKES Day programs for children, and making presentations to schools and local organizations.

NRPO Dustin Allen, Dist. 3 Officer of the Year (Braxton, Clay, Lewis, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Randolph, Upshur and Webster counties)
Officer Allen was recognized for many law enforcement activities, including several arrests and convictions involving illegal turkey hunting violations. He also was involved in the safe apprehension of an armed suspect after a standoff in a wooded area. He is proficient in hunter and boater safety education instruction and has successfully used social media to find and arrest wildlife law violators.

Sgt. Larry Rockel, Dist. 5 Officer of the Year (Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Putnam and Wayne counties)
Sgt.  Rockel was recognized for his many successful investigations, arrests and convictions of deer poachers and ginseng cases in 2016. His 25 years with the agency have earned him the respect of his fellow officers and the communities he serves. He shares his skills with newer officers, who look to him for instructions that help them with their law enforcement duties. He is well-known by the local public, assisting with kids fishing events and attending sportsman organization meetings and banquets.

NRPO William Phillips, Dist. 6 Officer of the Year (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Tyler, Pleasant, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties)
Officer Phillips was recognized for his many investigations in 2016 that resulted in wildlife law violation arrests and convictions involving deer and turkey poaching, and even the arrest of a drug dealer. He also devotes many hours working with children and the public, teaching Hunter Education classes and attending many events to discuss gun safety

**DNR**

Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce Receiving 2016 Natural Resources Police Officer of the Year Awards are: D6 NRPO William A. Phillips, D2 NRPO Adam D. Kuykendall, D3 NRPO Dustin S. Allen, DNR Director Stephen McDaniel, D1 NRPO Joshua A. Prickett, D5 NRPO Sergeant Larry K. Rockel, and D4 NRPO Joshua R. Toner. Officer Toner also was named the West Virginia Officer of the Year.
Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce Receiving 2016 Natural Resources Police Officer of the Year Awards are: D6 NRPO William A. Phillips, D2 NRPO Adam D. Kuykendall, D3 NRPO Dustin S. Allen, DNR Director Stephen McDaniel, D1 NRPO Joshua A. Prickett, D5 NRPO Sergeant Larry K. Rockel, and D4 NRPO Joshua R. Toner.  Officer Toner also was named the West Virginia Officer of the Year.