Colonel Kevin Jordan: (603) 271-3128
Jay Martin: (603) 271-3211
June 27, 2023

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Law Enforcement Division has recognized their 2022 New Hampshire Conservation Officers of the Year:

Conservation Officer Christopher McKee honored with the 2022 Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association of the Year Award

Conservation Officer McKee has been with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s (NHFG) Law Enforcement Division since November of 2006. Officer McKee was first assigned to the 53-patrol area in District 5 where he worked effectively for 12 years. In November of 2018, Officer McKee transferred to the 38-patrol area in District 3. This patrol is located in the White Mountains where the calls for search and rescue and dive missions are consistently high.

As a result, CO McKee joined the New Hampshire Fish and Game Dive Team with his relocation, and has been available for missions ever since. He is also a member of the Advanced Search and Rescue Team, and this past year he participated in over 50 search and rescue missions. Most notably, Officer McKee was instrumental in discovering clues during a three-day and extremely challenging mission in search of a missing person. This evidence would eventually lead to her recovery.

“I personally feel very fortunate to have such a devoted and hardworking officer who is committed to wildlife conservation and enforcement, and I have great confidence in Chris’s abilities,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan. “Chris is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, and he is a man of courage and integrity.”

Officer McKee leads his District in the number of summons and warnings issued. Due to a vacancy near his patrol, he was asked to respond to over 400 calls last year. Officer McKee also makes the time to participate in details outside of his patrol area to include Joint Enforcement details along the seacoast and Stone Garden details in northern New Hampshire. Officer McKee is also an active participant in snowmobile and OHRV details.

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.

Conservation Officer William (Brad) Jones named the 2022 Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Officer of the Year

Conservation Officer Jones was hired as a New Hampshire Conservation Officer in September of 2017. After successfully completing his trainee year, Officer Jones was assigned to District 5’s 54-patrol area. At the beginning of his career, Officer Jones demonstrated that he could manage high call volumes and was responsible not only for his patrol area but also for coverage in four other vacant patrol areas in District 5 during the first few years of his career.

CO Jones exceeded expectations as a field officer and has taken on many additional responsibilities. He is a certified Firearms Instructor and the armorer for the Law Enforcement Division. He is a Defensive Tactics Instructor, a Pepper Spray Instructor, and he instructs others in the use and deployment of a baton. Conservation Officer Jones became one of Field Training Officers assisting with the training of new officers in the field. He is a member of our Advanced Search and Rescue Team and has become a valued member of the NHFG Dive Team.

“Brad’s enthusiasm and his constant effort to maintain a high-quality approach to every challenge is refreshing to both his direct supervisors as well as his fellow officers,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan. “He is an officer who exhibits good common sense, dedication to duty, and loyalty to a fault. Officer Jones cares about the people he works with and the people he serves. No matter how difficult or challenging a project is, Brad will take on that challenge, always exceeding our expectations.”

The Shikar-Safari Club International was founded in 1952 by a group of international hunters who shared experiences and ideas about hunting. The group soon recognized its potential to accomplish meaningful goals in the field of conservation, and in 1973, the Shikar-Safari International Club Foundation was formed. Funds raised by members carry out conservation projects throughout the world.

Conservation Officer Kenneth St. Pierre and his K-9 partner Winnni honored with the Vermont Police Canine Association Evidence Detection Team Award for 2022

Conservation Officer Ken St. Pierre has been patrolling District 2 since he joined the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in 2016. In September of 2021, Wes and Belinda Reed, who own Rise and Shine Retrievers, graciously donated Winni to the Department, creating a new K-9 Team.

Conservation Officer St. Pierre introduced Winni to the daily activities of a New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officer, and the pair then excelled in a rigorous and extensive training program. As a 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.

“In August of 2022, a number of K-9 Teams, including Fish and Game’s other four units, were called in to work on a triple murder case,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan. “Eight days after the incident, Officer St. Pierre and Winni were again called by State Police to search along Interstate 93, now more than a week after the homicides had occurred. After more than 3 miles of searching, Winni located a handgun and magazine in the median of the highway. This evidence was later confirmed to be the murder weapon, and based on the discovery of this critical evidence, an arrest was made.”

Conservation Officer James Benvenuti and his K-9 partner Cora honored with the prestigious Vermont Police Canine Association Team of the Year Award for 2022

Conservation Officer Benvenuti and Cora are certified in Tracking, Evidence Detection, Search and Rescue, and Fish and Wildlife Detection. In 2022, they completed 209 hours of intense in-service training while also being deployed into the field over 40 times to investigate a variety of scenes ranging from wildlife crimes to homicides.

“State agencies that have their own K-9 Teams often call on New Hampshire Fish and Game K-9s to assist them with evidence detection and tracking challenges during major criminal investigations,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan. “Make no mistake, this New Hampshire Fish and Game K-9 Unit is the best trained and is one of the most highly skilled teams in New Hampshire. Each year, an increasing number of agencies are coming to recognize this fact.”

Conservation Officer Benvenuti recently assumed leadership of the NHFG K-9 Team. Under his guidance, the team has grown to five fully certified CO–K-9 partnerships.

Conservation Offiicer Robert McDermott named the first recipient of the 2022 Law Enforcement Division Command Staff Award of Excellence

This honor was given to Conservation Officer Robert McDermott to acknowledge his efforts to go above and beyond the call of duty through the dedication of his personal time.

In the fall of 2021, Officer McDermott asked if the Law Enforcement Division would consider purchasing an unmanned aircraft system, or as most would know it, a drone. There was skepticism at first because the equipment can be very expensive and it can be damaged very easily when in use. Officer McDermott was encouraged to apply for a grant from the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire to cover the cost of the equipment. His initiative led to the approval of the request, and the drone arrived in March of 2022.

Aware of the technology’s potential, CO McDermott began his own self-guided training, learning everything he could from policies and procedures to flight logs. With training and commitment, Officer McDermott’s new skills would later contribute to the location of a missing individual and closure for his family.

Officer McDermott’s tenacity and dedication to duty is commendable. He sets an outstanding example for other young officers to follow. The command staff is very proud of what he has already accomplished using this new equipment and excited to see more success in the future.