Col. Kevin Jordan: (603) 271-3128
Jay Martin: (603) 271-3211
May 8, 2019

CONCORD, NH — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Law Enforcement Division today recognized their 2018 New Hampshire Conservation Officers of the Year:

Left to right: Conservation Officer James Benvenuti, K-9 Cora, Conservation Officer Kevin Bronson, Sergeant Geoffrey Pushee, and Lieutenant William Boudreau. Select image for larger view.

Conservation Officer Kevin Bronson of Croydon, NH, was honored with the 2018 Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association of the Year Award..

Conservation Officer Kevin Bronson has worked for the majority of his career in District Three. CO Bronson always demonstrates the attributes of a reliable and thorough professional. In 2018, Officer Bronson once again demonstrated an outstanding work ethic and attitude relating to this profession that has remained consistent throughout his tenure.

After a successful completion of his trainee year, Officer Bronson was assigned to the 34 patrol area covering fourteen different townships. This patrol area is an expansive region including the western border of the state along the Connecticut River, and is known for high levels of year-round outdoor engagement and activity by residents and visitors.

“Conservation Officer Bronson is a tenacious investigator,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan. “Kevin is respected by the sporting public and as a result he receives many tips on which he then follows up with quality investigations. Because of this public trust, Kevin has issued almost two hundred summonses and warnings in the past year.”

In 2018, Officer Bronson was involved in sixteen Search and Rescue operations, with one such mission resulting in the location of a lost hunter who would have died without Bronson’s aid. Dedicated to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the Conservation Officers he works with, Bronson has become an Advanced Defensive Tactics Instructor, a member of the Division Honor Guard, a member of the Advanced Search and Rescue Team, a member of the Side Scan Remote Operated Vehicle Search Team, and a Field Training Officer assisting the Department with the training needs of new officers hired by the Law Enforcement Division.

The Conservation Law Enforcement Chief’s Association (CLECA) is an organization made up of Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs from the states of Virginia to Maine, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, and Canadian Provinces. The primary purpose of the Association is to encourage and promote conservation law enforcement cooperation among the eastern states represented. Annually, CLECA recognizes an officer from each state for their outstanding contributions to fish and wildlife protection of our country’s natural resources.

Sergeant Geoffrey Pushee, of Dunbarton, NH, named the 2018 Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Officer of the Year.

Sergeant Pushee began his career with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in 2008. Sergeant Pushee successfully completed his training year in November of 2009, and was immediately assigned to patrol in District Five, located in the southeast region of the state. This District is densely populated and generates the highest numbers of calls for service. As a result, Sergeant Pushee now handles the highest volume of calls, and the most diverse requests for services, of any other officer in the state. He is always willing to fill critical roles within the Law Enforcement Division including Firearms Instructor and Coastal JEA Officer. A Field Training Officer who assists with the training of new officers during their first year, Pushee also joined the Advanced Search and Rescue Team and has participated in numerous dangerous and complex search and rescue missions during his ten-year career.

“Throughout his tenure, Geoff has consistently exhibited a strong work ethic and a level of professionalism that exemplifies what today’s Wildlife Officer should strive to be,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan. “Sergeant Pushee is a team player who is loyal and dedicated to his District and this Agency. Geoff always makes himself available to assist other officers without hesitation and he is considered a valuable asset. Geoff always has his personal feelings and stress levels under complete control and always displays a calm and level appearance.”

The Shikar-Safari Club International was founded in 1952, as a group of international hunters who joined together to exchange experiences and ideas about hunting. It started as a social hunting organization, but soon recognized its potential to accomplish meaningful goals in the field of conservation. About 1973, the Shikar-Safari International Foundation was formed. Moneys raised by the members of the Shikar-Safari International are used to carry out various conservation projects throughout the world.

Conservation Officer James Benvenuti of Strafford, NH, and his K-9 partner Cora were honored with the Vermont Police Canine Association Evidence Detection Team Award for 2018.

Conservation Officer Benvenuti has been patrolling the Seacoast’s Region 6 since he joined the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in 2011. In September of 2016, Wes and Belinda Reed, who own Rise and Shine Retrievers, graciously donated Cora to the Department, creating a new K-9 Team consisting of Benvenuti and Cora.

Almost immediately, James exposed Cora to the daily activities of a New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officer, and the pair then excelled in a rigorous and extensive training program. The result of hard work, this remarkable team was selected out of a group of over fifty other Vermont and New Hampshire K-9 Teams who were all eligible to receive this prestigious award.

“K-9 Team partnerships depend on trust and dedication to each other,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan. “This requires the officer and his K-9 partner to have an unbreakable bond. The officer requires as much training as the K-9 does. After all, if the Officer in control does not know and understand his dog and what this dog is doing or trying to tell the Officer the partnership and mission fails.”

Lieutenant William Boudreau, of Rindge, NH, named the first recipient of the 2019 Operation Game Thief Recognition Award.

To distinguish a Conservation Officer’s efforts to support and promote the mission of Operation Game Thief (OGT), this recognition award is based on an officer’s investigations, courtroom prosecutions, or continued support through public campaigns that further Operation Game Thief’s efforts. This honor was given for the first time to Lieutenant William Boudreau.

Lieutenant Boudreau is the commander of the Department’s K-9 Team, in charge of both training and operations. He is the Assistant Team Leader of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Dive Team, and he is the District Chief of District Four.

As a non-profit organization, Lieutenant Boudreau recognizes the financial challenges Operation Game Thief faces and he understands the value of keeping the program functioning.

“Bill is known for his energy, determination, dedication, and his passion for wildlife conservation; he understands the value and importance of having a program like Operation Game Thief as a resource to combat wildlife crime.” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan. “Lieutenant Boudreau has been a longtime supporter of this program. He never hesitates to travel to the different fundraisers using the K-9s at presentations to draw in public interest and support at the various events across the state. For those of us who know and work with Bill this is no real surprise.”

Operation Game Thief’s mission is to promote the public reporting of wildlife crimes to Conservation Officers. This program provides an anonymous and easy way for citizens who witness wildlife crimes to contact the Department or other designated police dispatch centers to report these crimes and provide supporting information.

To learn more about the Law Enforcement Division of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department or Operation game Thief, visit