News Releases

Shikar-Safari honors 2016 Wildlife Officer of the Year

News Release

Friday, September 09, 2016

Media contact: Rob Klepper, 850-617-9666,

Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: External Website

Today, the Shikar-Safari Club International named Officer Dustin Lightsey, who has since been promoted to Lieutenant, its 2016 Wildlife Officer of the Year during the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) meeting in St. Augustine.

Shikar-Safari Club International is a conservation-based organization that presents awards annually to wildlife law enforcement officers in all states, provinces and territories in the United States and Canada. Jim Harrison and Don Henderson from Shikar-Safari attended the meeting and presented the award.

“These officers are really the front line of conservation, and the work they do is so important,” said Henderson. “Shikar-Safari is pleased to be able to honor Lieutenant Lightsey for his outstanding work.”

The annual award honors a state officer whose efforts show outstanding performance and achievement among sworn conservation law enforcement personnel.

“I’ve always said that we are blessed with the best conservation law enforcement officers in the country and Lieutenant Lightsey is a shining example of the professional men and women that are out there every day protecting the public and Florida’s natural resources.” said Commission Chairman Brian Yablonski. “I’m honored to have him representing our agency.”

Lightsey works in the FWC’s Northeast region, patrolling Brevard County. Over the past year, he has volunteered for several outreach events in the community and has been commended by outside agencies for his cooperative efforts in local investigations. He was instrumental in rectifying the “ghost net” problem at Sebastian Inlet State Park, assisted in search-and-rescue operations, enhanced boating safety through increased BUI enforcement efforts, and resolved a potentially deadly situation with an armed vessel operator. Lightsey has made a tremendous impact not only by apprehending violators, but also by mentoring officers as a field training officer, a water-safety survival instructor at the FWC training academy, and through his constant informal leadership.

Lightsey’s family were present at the Commission meeting to see him receive the award.

“I’d like to thank Shikar-Safari for their continued support and dedication to conservation across the globe,” said Lightsey. “I’m pleased to accept this honor on behalf of all of my brothers and sisters in law enforcement in FWC, who spend their time in the woods and on the water through rain, heat and storms protecting the public.”

FWC Facts:
The range of a male Florida black bear is about 60,000 acres. For a female, it's 15,000 acres.

Learn More at AskFWC