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spectr17
10-22-2007, 11:58 PM
Governor's Public Safety Awards Ceremony Honors DNR Law Enforcement Officers

10/12/07

Social Circle, Georgia - Two outstanding law enforcement officers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) have been honored for their exemplary dedication and service to conservation enforcement and community. Governor Sonny Perdue presented Captain Ralph Sheppard with the Governor's Public Safety Award for 'Outstanding Contribution to Profession,' and Ranger First Class (RFC) Shawn Clark with the award for an 'Act of Heroism.'

"The State of Georgia is fortunate to have people, such as Capt. Sheppard and RFC Clark, who will go above and beyond their duty of protecting our natural resources," says WRD Chief of Law Enforcement Col. Terry West. "I commend both honorees for their dedication and contributions toward our conservation enforcement efforts and our community."

Capt. Sheppard currently serves WRD as academy director of the Georgia DNR Training Academy in Forsyth. In his 30-plus year career with DNR, he has served as director of the Academy for the past 20 and is credited with formation of the Academy's curriculum.

The DNR Training Academy, part of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, offers an unmatched 18-week course, consisting of 10 weeks of Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) required curriculum and 8 weeks of training dedicated solely to conservation rangers. Sheppard successfully accomplished his mission to create an effective and informative curriculum for Georgia's conservation rangers - developing a highly capable staff of 78 POST certified instructors trained to cover a wide variety of topics ranging from environmental laws and federal game and fish laws to hunter education and courtroom demeanor and testimony. Because of Sheppard's dedication and diligence, DNR rangers are some of the most well trained peace officers in the State, making him worthy of this most recent 'Outstanding Contribution to Profession' Governor's Public Safety Award.

RFC Clark, awarded the 'Act of Heroism' award, was recognized for an outstanding selfless act of courage. Clark's supervisors nominated the dedicated officer for witnessing and immediately responding to a house fire and rescuing the unaware occupants. On his way to a night deer hunting call, Clark noticed a house on fire. He notified 911 for assistance and then proceeded to alert the occupants of the home. After knocking and yelling for them, he instinctively kicked in the door and continued to yell for the occupants. The adults responded and alerted Clark of their baby upstairs. Clark directed the parents outside and continued upstairs to find the sleeping baby. He retrieved the baby and the family survived the fire unharmed. The outcome of this house fire may not have been so positive without Clark's quick response and selfless act of heroism. Clark is an outstanding example of a DNR conservation ranger, going above and beyond the call of duty and helping his community. For this, he makes a worthy recipient of the 'Act of Heroism' Governor's Public Safety Award.

DNR law enforcement officers are nominated for the Governor's Public Safety Awards by DNR staff. Nominations include an explanation of why the nominee is deserving of the award, detailing the outstanding service provided. Nominees are reviewed and award recipients are selected by the Governor's Public Safety Awards committee.

For more information on the 2007 Governor's Public Safety Awards, call the WRD Law Enforcement Headquarters Office at (770) 918-6408.

Media Contact:
Jennifer D. Barnes (770) 918-6795