SOCIAL CIRCLE — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division announced earlier this week that Ranger 1st Class Patrick Gibbs, who is assigned to Long County, is the Division’s 2016 Torch Award winner.
“RFC Gibbs continuously strives to do the best job possible and leaves a positive impression of the Law Enforcement Division with everyone he comes in contact with,” said DNR Law Enforcement Director Colonel Eddie Henderson. “With his work ethic and commitment to conservation law enforcement, I see great successes in his future.”
Gibbs, who has been with DNR Law Enforcement for 3½ years, is the third recipient of the Torch Award, presented annually by the Division to encourage the professional development of recently appointed rangers. Nominees must have worked as wildlife enforcement officers less than five years, demonstrated a genuine desire to protect the resources and develop professionally, and demonstrate exceptional ability and initiative in the performance of their duties, including public education.
As an avid sportsman, Gibbs knows when and where to be to successfully intercept violators, which has resulted in an outstanding year in hunting, fishing and boating enforcement. He checked 266 hunting licenses, 356 fishing licenses, 313 vessels and 67 commercial licenses. He logged 92 Wildlife Management Area and Georgia State Parks patrols and 190 hours on 45 citizen complaints. He conducted more than 50 vessel patrols, including Joint Enforcement Agreement, shellfish, boating safety and commercial shrimp trawler. Of the 170 violator contacts, Gibbs made 26 cases directly related to night deer hunting violations. He made five cases for hunting turkeys over bait, six boating under the influence arrests and seven cases for commercial shrimping/oyster violations. Seven more cases were made related to waterfowl enforcement.
In addition to his enforcement activities, Gibbs showed an equally strong commitment to education. He conducted 17 information and education programs for the citizens of his assigned area. He presented a variety of safety-related topics to more than 450 young adults through the local school system. He has also worked with CHAMPs, boating, hunting and ATV safety at the school, kids fishing events, Shop with a Cop and Career Day.
Gibbs is a Child Abduction Team member and has been selected to be a certified field training officer for the division.
“I truly appreciate RFC Gibbs and what he does, day in and day out, protecting Georgia’s greatest assets — its citizens,” DNR Commissioner Mark Williams said. “He is very deserving of this year’s Torch Award.”