DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer Highlights

ECO Actions for Late October and Early November


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.

In 2017, the 301 ECOs across the state responded to 26,400 calls and issued 22,150 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

“From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York’s environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes. Although they don’t receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC’s mission to protect and enhance our environment.”

Recent missions carried out by ECOs include:

ECO Gets Advice from Spiderman – Chautauqua County

On Oct. 27, ECO Jerry Kinney was visiting a community Halloween parade in Lakewood when he struck up a conversation with an inquisitive Logan Johnson, who was dressed up as Spiderman. The young man and his mother were interested in ECO Kinney’s work, and the officer shared a few stories and photos from the job. ECO Kinney kept Spiderman’s curiosity peaked for some time. Both Kinney and Logan commented that their conversation was the highlight of their week.


ECO and little boy dressed as Spiderman
ECO Kinney talking to Spiderman (AKA Logan Johnson)
at a Halloween event


Bear Trapped in Coyote Trap – Sullivan County

On Oct. 29, ECO Mary Grose received a complaint of a bear in a foothold trap in the Neversink Unique Area in the town of Mamakating. A trapper was checking his traps when he was surprised to find a bear caught in one of them. The trapper had been targeting coyotes and had set the traps the day before. When ECO Grose arrived on scene, she assessed that the bear would need to be tranquilized in order to be safely removed. With the assistance of DEC wildlife staff, the bear was tranquilized and evaluated before being released. The male bear was estimated to be two years old and about 140 pounds. Upon release, the bear ran into the woods seemingly in good health.


small tranquilized black bear being evaluated
Tranquilized bear evaluated by wildlife staff


Halloween Doe – Warren County

On the evening of Oct. 31, ECO Sean Dewey received a call reporting a subject that had just shot a deer from the road in Horicon. Upon his arrival at the scene, ECO Dewey identified the suspect after interviewing nearby homeowners. The investigation continued, and with the aid of ECO Maxwell Nicols, the officers determined the deer was shot with a rifle from the defendant’s pickup truck using a spotlight. Tickets were issued for illegally taking the deer with the aid of a light, unlawfully taking an antlerless deer, possessing a loaded gun in a motor vehicle, and discharging the firearm from the roadway. The deer was confiscated.


Female deer hanging from tree
Illegally taken doe


Illegal Deer Case – Greene County

On Nov. 4, ECO Anthony Glorioso responded to a complaint in Greene County in the town of Catskill concerning an individual who had shot a 6-point buck deer with a .308 rifle. The individual was also in possession of a .22 caliber rifle. After interviews and an investigation, the subject was arrested and processed before being released with several tickets, including misdemeanor charges. The offenses included illegally pursuing protected wildlife, killing deer by illegal means, hunting over bait, and hunting deer with rimfire ammunition.


Bear Cub Given a Second Chance Thanks to Concerned Sportsman – Ulster County

On Nov. 4, ECOs Jason Smith and Adam Johnson received a call for an injured black bear cub in the town of Rochester. The caller, a bow hunter, was walking back to his house after his morning hunt and witnessed the cub falling approximately 20 feet out of a tree. The officers arrived to find the bear cub alert, but dazed from the fall. The cub, weighing approximately 20 pounds, had been seen in the area for several weeks without a sow. The officers contacted Matt Merchant, DEC Region 3 bear biologist, who advised the officers to capture the bear and bring it to a wildlife rehabilitator. With assistance from a nearby landowner and the original caller, the officers delivered the cub to a kennel. The caller’s children picked an apple off a nearby tree and asked the ECOs to give it to the cub for the journey to the rehabilitator. The cub will spend the winter with the rehabilitator, who will assess and treat the bear for its injuries.


Small black bear in carrier with apple
Black bear cub with an apple for the trip to the
wildlife rehabilitator


Bay Scallop Enforcement — Suffolk County

Nov. 5, marked the opening day of New York State’s 2018 Bay Scallop season, and DEC Region 1 Marine Enforcement Unit took to the waters off Eastern Long Island to conduct a patrol. Aboard a 31-foot SAFE boat, ECOs Jordan Doroski, Evan Laczi, Chris Macropoulos, and Ike Bobseine conducted more than 40 vessel boardings to ensure compliance with safety rules, navigational regulations, and fishing laws. In total, 13 individuals were issued tickets or warnings for offenses ranging from failing to have a valid digger permit and possession of welk without a permit, to failure to wear a life jacket and failure to have approved marine sanitation devices onboard while commercial shell fishing. Tickets are to be returned to the respective municipal courts in December.


ECOs on a boat with shells
ECOs Macropoulos, Doroski and Laczi checking a catch