On Friday, December 6, 2019, 44 Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and Forest Rangers graduated the 22nd Basic School for Uniformed Officers at the DEC Law Enforcement Academy in Pulaski, NY.
58 Recruits began the arduous 29-week training academy back in May of 2019, but the grueling demands and rigors of academy life dwindled the field to just 44 graduates.
During that time, they endured an estimated 1538 hours of drill, physical and defensive tactics training, rigorous academic instruction in the laws of the State of New York, and a great deal of extremely specialized law enforcement training.
Now that they have completed the basic school, they will continue field training as they’ve become certified sworn police officers in NYS with a difference; they are all experts in their chosen area of law enforcement, uniquely qualified to carry out their highly specialized law enforcement duties in service to the people of the State of NY.
I’m happy to announce one ECO graduate hails from our area. Heather Carl, 24, of Westerlo, graduated DEC’s Law Enforcement Academy with distinction. Heather is a 2013 graduate of Greenville High School who went on to attend the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. (SUNY ESF).
Heather was a dual major, receiving a Bachelor of Science in both Natural Resource Management, and Forestry, with a minor in Outdoor Recreation. She graduated Magna Cum Laude, in 2017.
Heather is an avid athlete. While at ESF, she received the prestigious 2016 SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete Award. Carl, a member of ESF’s Division Two, “Mighty Oaks” women’s soccer team, was named a “USCAA Academic All-American” (student-athletes with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher) in both 2014 and 2015.
Heather was named a “USCAA First-Team All-American” in 2015 and 2016. She led the team with 15 goals during the 2015 season when she was named a team captain. While at ESF, Heather worked for two summers as a Forestry Technician with the National Forest Service at Pike National Park in Colorado.
Newly titled, “Environmental Conservation Officer” Heather Carl, is currently assigned to Orange County in DEC’s Region 3 where Heather will be one of four ECOS assigned to the county. Their duties will typically include enforcement of the Environmental Conservation Law, combatting fish and wildlife poaching and pollution of our environment.
Orange County is a busy place for ECOs. There’s a lot to learn and do and ECO Carl is likely to have a diverse caseload as she navigates the plethora of violations and complaints inherent in a densely populated sector in the Lower Hudson Valley.
The Hudson River is a key feature of Orange County and offers ample opportunity to get out on the water to enforce fishing regulations relating to striped bass, black bass, waterfowl hunting, in addition to potential illegal pollutant discharges and other water quality and wetlands enforcement issues.
ECO Carl is no stranger to law enforcement. Her father, Robert (Bob) Carl is a retired NYS Trooper who served at the Catskill barracks in the 1990’s before going to the governor’s detail for the remainder of his career.
As a local Greene County ECO at the time, I had the opportunity to work with then Trooper, Bob Carl, on many occasions. He was particularly adept in assisting in a number of poaching investigations helping to bring many to a successful conclusion.
I can personally attest ECO Carl hails from a proud tradition in law enforcement and wish her well in her newly found career as a NYS ECO.
Upon her graduation from the academy, Bob said of his daughter, “Heather sets deliberate goals and is always determined to meet them.”
Apparently, that is an accurate assessment since in addition to her athletic and academic achievements, Heather set a goal some time ago to become a NYS ECO and is now a fully-fledged member of the “Thin Green Line.”
Join me and her proud parents, Bob and Diane, in wishing ECO Heather Carl a safe, productive, and rewarding time as she embarks on what promises to be an exciting and challenging law enforcement career.
Happy Hunting and Fishing Until Next Time.
Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.
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