Local Conservation Officer awarded Officer of the year

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Blake Parker local BC Conservation Officer was awarded Officer of the year.

Growing up in Fort St. John, Parker would often work with his father who was a B.C. Conservation Officer. During that time it was shared Parker learned through the first-hand experience he would get from seeing what his father did for a living, Parker would also share he viewed his father as a hero.

Between the experience with his father and a love of the outdoors, inspired Parker to pursue a career as a conservation officer.

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37-year-old Parker is working as an acting sergeant responsible for the B.C. Conservation Officer Service’s (COS) North Peace zone. He has also been named the 2018 conservation officer of the year.

Parker is the 27th recipient of the Outstanding Officer of the Year Award. Since 1992, the designation has been awarded annually to a conservation officer for going above and beyond the call of duty and exemplifying the values of the Conservation Officer Service: integrity, public service and protection of the environment.

“My dad is quite proud of me. I still look up to him,” Parker said. “People in Fort St. John know my name because of my dad and they know me from growing up there, so having pre-established relationships has been helpful. A lot of our work comes from people sharing information with us.”

Parker started his career with the B.C. COS in 2007. The first four months in the field were spent in Smithers getting a feel for the job before he moved further north to a one-man office in Dease Lake, where he worked for the next three-and-a-half years.

In 2011, Parker moved to Dawson Creek where he spent many hours patrolling the wilderness, checking to make sure outdoor enthusiasts were complying with the law. Parker shared a highlight of his career has been training the jet-boat operations and firearms team.

“It’s rewarding seeing other people grow and develop, making them safer and giving them more skills that can help them be more effective in the field,” Parker said. “I really enjoy fieldwork and getting outside to do patrols. I hope to continue on this path and just stay positive, have fun and provide some guidance for other conservation officers to follow.”

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