DLNR Officer Recognized with First-Ever Award
Veteran DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) Officer James Ridzon will be the first recipient of the DLNR/DOCARE Officer of the Year award.
Ridzon has worked with DOCARE for more than eight years, earning a reputation as an effective investigator and enforcer of laws protecting Hawai‘i’s natural and cultural resources. He is currently assigned to the North District of Hawai‘i Island and was nominated by his peers and supervisor for the award.
“I know Jim well from my time as an officer on the Big Island,” said DOCARE Enforcement Chief Robert Farrell, who announced the award. “His supervisor described him as competent, knowledgeable and capable…exactly the traits I noticed and I would add diligent and extremely competent.”
DLNR Chair Suzanne Case added, “Officer Ridzon’s work ethic and overall efforts exemplify the best in what we expect from our DOCARE officers.”
Ridzon joined fellow DLNR officers last weekend in an effort to crack down on trespassing into the Kohala Restricted Watershed by hikers attempting to access a hiking trail known as “White Road.” According to a press release by DLNR, Ridzon demonstrated professionalism by treating trespassers he encountered with respect and compassion.
Officer Ridzon will attend the annual North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers (NAWEOA) conference in Ontario, Canada in late July as part of his recognition. NAWEOA is an organization focused on the advancement and needs of natural resource and wildlife officers throughout North America. Ridzon will be the first Officer of the Year in attendance from the State of Hawai‘i.
Ridzon said: “My goal was to always work in conservation resources enforcement as it combines my lifelong passion for the outdoors with protecting the all of the places and resources Hawai‘i is recognized around the world for.”