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Life-saving FWC officer is SLECA Officer of the Year

News Release

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Media contact: Carol Pratt, 850-251-2212

The State Law Enforcement Chiefs' Association (SLECA) awarded its 2009 Officer of the Year award to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer Benjamin "Bret" Gill. He received the award Feb. 18 at a ceremony in Tallahassee.

Gill is credited with risking his life to save the life of a 28-year-old woman after he entered a burning vehicle to pull her to safety. In addition, the officer is recognized for making numerous fish and wildlife, felony warrant and drug possession arrests and assisting in the capture of a suspected murderer.

"In the short time that he has been with the agency, he has impressed us time and time again," said Col. Jim Brown, the FWC's director of the Division of Law Enforcement. "He is truly an asset to the agency, and we are very proud of him."

Gill is stationed in the North Central Region of the state. He joined the FWC in 2005. Since then, he was selected as the FWC's Officer of the Year, the Officer of the Year for the Association of Midwest Fish and Game Law Enforcement Officers, he is the recipient of the Shikar-Safari Club International Officer of the Year Award and he has received two awards from the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association for his dedication and heroism.

"I'm not at all surprised that Officer Gill won another award," said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the FWC. "He exemplifies what an officer should be: determined, committed, caring and bright."

SLECA provides training and educational opportunities so members can better manage state law enforcement agencies. The organization also fosters mutual understanding among different types of state law enforcement functions. It promotes professionalism, ethical conduct and competency in the field of law enforcement; and provides outreach and public awareness on issues affecting state law enforcement agencies. SLECA provides a forum for state law enforcement agencies to share best practices that create more efficient and effective delivery of law enforcement services to the public.

FWC Facts:
The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the official state reptile of Florida.

Learn More at AskFWC