Alabama Conservation Officer Receives National Award
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officer Darin Clifton received the NWTF Law Enforcement of the Year Award Feb. 16 at the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
An avid turkey hunter and active NWTF member, Clifton made several arrests for turkey hunting-related violations during the 2012 spring turkey season.
- Clifton arrested two suspects for numerous violations on Alabama’s Special Youth Turkey Hunt.
- He waited two hours to apprehend a suspect who returned to retrieve a wild turkey he had shot from a car.
- Clifton also arrest several suspects for wild turkey-related violations on the Sam Murphy Wildlife Management Area in Lamar County, where he is assigned.
With Clifton’s selection, Alabamans have received the NWTF Law Enforcement of the Year Award for the second year in a row. William Fisher of Eldridge received the award in 2012.
"Of the top ten awards I would ever hope to win, this is at the very top because turkey hunting and the NWTF stand for everything that we stand for as law enforcement officers," said Darin Clifton." And it's amazing how many people can keep a secret for a week."
Clifton frequently serves in outreach programs such as the NWTF’s JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) and Women in the Outdoors as well as Archery in the Schools. He also participates in various youth hunts and fishing events and helps with events for people with disabilities.
He volunteered countless hours in the recovery efforts from the devastating tornadoes that touched down in Alabama in 2011.
“Officer Clifton’s attitude toward his work as a conservation enforcement officer is the best I have witnessed,” said Captain Johnny Johnson of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. “His friendly personality and willingness to volunteer for any special work detail is remarkable.”
A certified hunter education instructor with an FBI Firearms Instructor Certification, Clifton teaches numerous classes each year and trains officers. He promotes hunting and fishing to youth at local schools and at speaking engagements to groups such as the Boy Scouts of America.
Clifton has donated his custom-made turkey calls to NWTF chapter banquets.
For the past four years, he has filmed and edited for national outdoor television shows.
The NWTF, a non-profit organization, is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. The NWTF is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and other wildlife species and the preservation of our hunting heritage.
Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial agencies, NWTF volunteers have conserved 17.3 million acres of wildlife habitat, investing $412 million.
Since the NWTF was founded in 1973, the number of wild turkeys has increased from 1.3 million to almost 7 million. Wild turkey populations have been restored to 99 percent of suitable habitat and live in each of the 48 continental U.S. states and Hawaii.
For more information on the NWTF, go to www.nwtf.org or call (800) THE-NWTF.