By Molly Kirk
Photos by Meghan Marchetti
K9 Conservation Police Officer Jim Patrillo has been selected as the 2019 Conservation Police Officer of the Year, and CPO Brett Clawson has been selected for the prestigious honor of The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ Butch Potts Memorial Award, also known as the Boating Officer of the Year for 2019. Congratulations to both officers for the well-deserved recognition of their outstanding commitment and dedication to the citizens of the Commonwealth, the Agency and Virginia’s public.
Officer Jim Patrillo, who is assigned to the K9 Unit, received 13 commendations through the Office of Professional Standards, initiated or responded to 200 calls for service in all four regions, participated in 70 educational and outreach events with K9 Bailey, is a member of three instructional cadres for the Training Unit, worked with varying corporations and vendors to obtain thousands of dollars for the K9 program in grants, financial aid, and donations, assisted numerous partner law enforcement agencies with K9 assistance for lost/missing persons and criminal cases, and provided K9 assistance to our conservation officers, which resulted in numerous cases being made and evidence being recovered.
Jim’s time, effort and dedication to his K9 partner, Bailey, has created a strong bond and has led to Bailey’s strong desire to do a good job and their many successes. Jim’s ability to talk to people and share his passion and enthusiasm for the job is always well received and has been the genesis for his many commendations.
Each region, along with Special Operations, nominated outstanding officers, and all of these officers deserve recognition and applause for their accomplishments. These nominees were: RI – Senior Officer Tyler Bumgarner; RII – Officer Brett Clawson; RIII – Officer Matthew Arnold; and RIV – Officer Tim Bostic.
Office Brett Clawson is assigned to Franklin County in Region II. Brett’s nomination contained many efforts and achievements, with highlights including Brett’s efforts in detecting impaired boating operators, which resulted in eight BUI arrests and him being recognized by MADD for his exceptional efforts; his boat patrol efforts, which resulted in him making 135 boating-related arrests; and his working 10 boating accidents over the course of the year.
Brett’s accomplishments were not all enforcement-related, as he participated in or conducted seven boating safety outreach events and developed relationships with boat livery vendors to ensure that boating safety messages and education were being properly delivered to their customers renting their boats.
Brett’s fellow nominees were: RI – Senior Officer Tyler Bumgarner; RIII – Officer Jason Harris; RIV – Senior Officer Beth Garrett; and Special Agent Jim Croft. The selection process was highly competitive, and choosing one officer from the four outstanding candidates was a challenging decision for the panel. All four nominees are accomplished officers that have exceptional talents and abilities in the areas of boating law enforcement and boating education.