The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division announced Ranger First Class David Webb has won the Officer of the Year Award from the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association. Webb was presented the award recently at the Association’s annual conference in Reno, Nevada.
According to the NAWEOA web site, the Officer of the Year award is presented to wildlife officers who have performed outstanding work, exemplary service to the public or have contributed to wildlife law enforcement in other ways.
“To be named the top wildlife officer in all of North America by an organization of this caliber is quite an accomplishment and we are proud of RFC Webb and his commitment to wildlife law enforcement and to our agency,” said DNR Col. Eddie Henderson, director of Law Enforcement.
Webb is a 13-year veteran of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division and is assigned to Towns County in the North Georgia mountains. He has an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Gordon State College. Prior to working for DNR LED, he was a correctional officer for the Georgia Department of Corrections at Burrus State Prison. He is a member of a Regional Critical Action Team that provides specialized law enforcement level search and rescue services as needed throughout the state. He is also a certified Georgia Peace Officers Standard and Training instructor, providing training to DNR cadets on bear hunting laws.
As a regional investigator, Webb participated in a long-term investigation named Operation Something Bruin, a three-year cooperative federal and state investigation that targeted illegal bear hunting and guiding activities on U.S. Forest Service properties along the Georgia and North Carolina state line. Violations included hunting bears out of season, hunting bears over bait, failure to tag bears, taking protected wildlife (heron), taking an alligator out of season and others.
In January 2013, he began working on case reports, spending 264 hours organizing reports, evidence and obtaining search/arrest warrants. At its conclusion, the operation documented more than 900 state and federal charges, which included 139 state charges against eight defendants in Georgia and 110 state charges against 26 defendants in North Carolina.
Webb was honored for all his efforts throughout Operation Something Bruin with a resolution by the Georgia DNR Board of Natural Resources. He was also selected as the 2013 Ranger of the Year and Investigative Ranger of the Year in his region and statewide. With these honors, he represented the Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Division at the 2013 South Eastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies meeting in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the 2013 National Wild Turkey Federation national banquet in Nashville, Tenn.