Billy LaGrange Named SEAFWA Tennessee Wildlife Officer of the Year
NASHVILLE --- Billy LaGrange has been named the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Wildlife Officer of the Year for the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA).
The award recipient was announced by Col. Darren Rider, TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division Chief.
LaGrange is a wildlife officer in TWRA Region II’s District 22. He was selected among other TWRA law enforcement officers to become the state recipient. He will be recognized during the annual SEAFWA meeting scheduled Oct. 19-22, in Destin, Fla. LaGrange is assigned to Hickman County, but works throughout the 13 counties in District 22.
Also honored as TWRA region and district selections were Jay Corbitt, Region I and Chase Taylor, District 11; Dale Grandstaff, District 21; Kyle Walling, Region III and Casey Pittman, District 32; Wayne Rich, Region IV and Michael Cavins, District 41. The officers were selected for their efforts in teamwork, public outreach, innovation, attitude, leadership, achievements and accomplishments.
“It’s always a difficult situation when one officer is selected out of a group of officers that have all gone above and beyond the duty of ensuring Tennessee hunters, anglers and boaters are provided safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities,” said Rider. “All these officers are to be commended for their professionalism and efforts they displayed this year. All these officers had a fantastic year, but Billy really excelled in all aspects of his job. His achievements and accomplishments were outstanding.”
Among his activities during the year, he coordinated a youth fishing rodeo with 45 participants, conducted two youth deer hunts and a youth rabbit hunt. He also conducted a regional Envirothon and helped instruct teams in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). He taught and certified 130 students in hunter education and assisted in five other classes certifying another 225 students.
“Billy’s efforts in excellence and innovation were also great,” said Rider. “Even though he is young, he uses ‘old school’ game warden tactics to check for violations. He is dedicated and determined to protect the state’s resources for all Tennessee citizens to enjoy. He approaches his job with grit while maintaining a professional demeanor.”
His efforts resulted in issuing 205 citations and 30 warnings while also assisting other officers with 59 additional citations. He had 1,492 law enforcement contacts with hunters, anglers and boaters. In addition Billy assisted the Agency’s SIU (Special Investigative Unit) in the arrest of two individuals for turkey violations. Billy was the “go to” guy in the district for the eradication of wild hogs.