Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Conservation Enforcement Officer Darin Clifton has been named the 2013 National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the National Wild Turkey Federation. Clifton received the award during the organization’s national convention in Nashville February 16. This is the second year in a row a Conservation Enforcement Officer from Alabama has won the award. Bryan Fisher received the award in 2012.
Clifton began his career with WFF in 1995. During the 2012 spring turkey season, Clifton made several arrests for turkey hunting violations including two suspects arrested for numerous violations on Alabama’s Special Youth Turkey Hunt, and several other suspects for hunting violations on the Sam Murphy Wildlife Management Area in Lamar County where he is assigned.
WFF District I Law Enforcement Captain Johnny Johnson nominated Clifton for the award citing his character, professionalism and work ethic.
"Darin has one of the best attitudes towards the profession of any officer I’ve had the pleasure of working with," Johnson said. "He consistently goes above and beyond what is required of him. For example, Darin volunteered countless hours in the recovery efforts following the tornados that devastated Alabama in 2011."
Kevin Dodd, WFF law enforcement chief, echoed Johnson’s praise of Clifton.
"Officer Clifton is well established in the community as is evident in the effectiveness of his work," Dodd said. "We are exceptionally proud of him receiving this award, especially considering the multitude of excellent candidates from other states."
Clifton is a certified hunter education instructor with an FBI Firearms Instructor Certification, and promotes hunting and fishing to youth at local schools and at speaking engagements to various groups including local Boy Scout troops.
In addition to his WFF duties, Clifton frequently serves in outreach programs such as the NWTF’s Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship (JAKES) and Women in the Outdoors (BOWS) as well as the National Archery in the Schools Program. He also participates in various youth hunts and fishing events, and assists in events for people with disabilities.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.