NASHVILLE --- Rick Roberts, of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, has been honored by the Shikar–Safari Club International as its 2010 Tennessee Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Roberts, who serves TWRA as a wildlife officer in Union County, was presented the award by Jim Maddox, a representative of Shikar-Safari Club International. The award presentation was made at the January meeting of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission held at TWRA Region II Headquarters in Nashville.
The annual award from the conservation-based organization honors the officer whose efforts during the year display outstanding performance and achievement among TWRA law enforcement personnel. Roberts’ selection for the honor is for his dedication, professionalism, effectiveness, and demeanor with the public and his fellow workers.
In addition to his law enforcement duties, Roberts has identified several outreach and public education opportunities. He has been involved with the Farm Day program, the Clinch River Days and local head start program. He has recently partnered with the local VFW chapter to produce a most successful Tennessee Free Fishing Day event at Big Ridge State Park.
With the assistance of the local 4-H coordinator, Roberts has helped resurrect the 4-H shooting sports program in the Union County Schools. He is also further involved in other community youth activities.
Along with his duties in Union County, Roberts often assists officers in surrounding counties with enforcement, sportsman shows, deer measuring rallies, and other related programs describing the agency’s mission and individual programs. Roberts regularly assists Lands Management Personnel on Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area (the Region’s second largest state owned WMA) with not only law enforcement issues, but also with planting and management development. In addition, he has assisted with management activities on both Royal Blue and Forks of the River WMAs.
Roberts routinely leads his area in the number of inspections performed. This past year, he made 81 arrests, issued 16 citations and assisted other officers with another 46 cases. Among the cases were spotlighting, closed season violations, hunting from a motor vehicle, shooting from a public roadway, and hunting deer with dogs. Additionally, he acted as lead investigator in two boating accidents and apprehended 12 boating under the influence (BUI) operators.
He has certified or assisted with the certification of over 300 hunter education students. He holds a trainer certificate for many of TWRA’s in-house training programs.
Shikar-Safari Club International was founded in 1952 for the purpose of advancing knowledge concerning wildlife of the world, independently and in cooperation with zoological societies, universities and museums. Each year, the club sponsors an award for the Wildlife Officer of the Year in all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces.
Rick Roberts (second from right) was honored by being named the 2010 Shikar-Safari Club International Tennessee Wildlife Officer of the Year. Also pictured (from left) is Steve Nifong, TWRA interim Law Enforcement Division Chief, Jim Maddox, Shikar-Safari Club, and Willard Perryman, Law Enforcement Division Area Supervisor.