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Game Warden named Officer of the Year
AUSTIN — Chris Bird, a state game warden based in Wharton County, has been named Officer of the Year by the Association of Midwest Fish and Game Law Enforcement Officers.
Begun 66 years ago, the association is the oldest conservation law enforcement organization in the nation. It is made up of 29 member agencies from the United States and Canada, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Division has been a member since 1995.
A game warden for six years, Bird has been stationed in Wharton County all of that time. TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith presented Bird the award at the Aug. 25 meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
“Warden Bird has consistently demonstrated a very strong degree of professionalism and dedication to mission, continually excelling in the high standards we expect from all our officers,” Smith said. “He is the epitome of what we hope the public envisions a Texas game warden.”Smith noted that Bird has become a core member of the warden team that works the four counties in his district, setting an excellent example of teamwork, investigative skills, work ethic and attitude.“One of warden Bird’s strongest attributes is his passion for community service and his commitment to TPWD’s public outreach mission,” Smith continued. “In addition to the excellent working relationships he maintains with landowners and other constituents in his assigned patrol area, he also organizes or participates in several annual Operation Outdoors and educational programs.”Among the events Bird has been involved with are the “Hunt for Heroes” and “Wounded Warriors Weekend,” which are hunts and fishing trips for disabled or wounded military personnel; the Wharton County Youth Hunt; the Wharton Boys and Girls Club Kidfish; the Victoria Boulevard Lion’s Club Kidfish; and the Wharton County Youth Hunter Education program.
“Warden Bird has dedicated himself to not only fulfilling his duties as a game warden in his assigned area,” Smith said, “but to also fill a void left in the Wharton County community after Game Warden Justin Hurst was killed in the line of duty in 2007. As a cadet in the Game Warden Training Academy at the time, Chris…requested assignment to Wharton County. Newly commissioned Game Warden Bird reported for duty and immediately went about building a reputation similar to his predecessor, but in his own right, as ‘their game warden.’”
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