Law Enforcement Officer of the Year - SCDNR Officer Randy Hering
Officer Hering takes break from assisting in areas flooded by Hurricane Florence to accept award
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Officer Randy Hering was given a brief reprieve from working areas flooded by Hurricane Florence in October as he received the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award during the Council meeting in Charleston, SC. The award, established by the Council in 2010, recognizes distinctive service, professionalism, and dedication to enforcing fisheries regulations in the South Atlantic. Nominees for the annual award may be submitted from each of the southeastern state law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and NOAA Fisheries.
"This year's award is especially timely," said Council Chair Jessica McCawley. "It is truly an honor to present this award to Officer Hering during our meeting here in South Carolina, and to have the opportunity to reflect on the work and dedication of enforcement personnel throughout the region during times of natural disasters."
In addition to his willingness to work long hours when needed, Officer Hering is known for his positive working relationship with the commercial fishing industry and knowledge of federal fishing regulations. He works closely with federal enforcement efforts through the Joint Enforcement Agreement and has assisted in joint investigations resulting in 11 Federal Fisheries cases. One such case involved a commercial offload in Georgetown, SC where Officer Hering discovered the fisherman was over his legal limit of Cobia and operating without a commercial license, resulting in $3,243 of product being seized. Other cases have involved illegal possession of undersized sharks, possession of grouper during the spawning season closure, and a dockside patrol that resulted in a federal charge for an undersize blue marlin, and failure to possess a recreational permit for Highly Migratory Species.
"Officer Hering shows compassion and understanding while enforcing fisheries regulations," said Kevin Mitchell, Field Officer with NOAA Fisheries Enforcement. "He has developed a rapport with fishermen in the area, is extremely knowledgeable about federal fisheries regulations, and is proficient at enforcing these regulations, often driving long hours to assist when needed, and collecting evidence such as fish fillets for DNA testing for successful prosecution."
Upon receiving the recognition, Officer Hering explained, "I love my job. And this award means more to me than I can put into words, but I couldn't do my job without the help and guidance of my fellow officers. We all share in this honor."
Officer Hering lives in Georgetown, SC with his wife Taylor, daughter Harper, another baby on the way, and two Golden Retrievers - Dillon and Dayne.
Officer Randy Hering accepts the Council's Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award from Council Chair Jessica McCawley and Vice-Chair Mel Bell.