By RICK GOINES
North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission has two enforcement officers assigned to each county. That’s 200 dedicated, educated, and highly trained individuals protecting our North Carolina environment and natural resources. To become an enforcement officer applicant, one must participate in a highly competitive selection process. A typical candidate is required to pass extensive background and psychological screening. Also included is a vigorous 19-week training academy that is patterned after a military boot camp, with an emphasis on physical fitness.
Readers know I spend a lot of time on the Tar River in Battle Park during shad season. Firsthand, I have been able to observe enforcement officer John Lucas doing his job. He has attained the elevated level of Master Officer. His friends and co-workers call him Luke.
If you are breaking or not adhering to the rules and regulations, you might want to call him Officer Lucas, or Mr. Lucas, as he writes you a citation. Luke does not “play.” You ignore or violate the stated rules and regulations, then he is going to give you something to adjust your attitude and outlook in the future. Nothing like a good old fashioned fine and court costs to get your undivided attention.
I admire and respect Lucas’ diligence and dedication. The man does his job, and does it well. Quite frankly, I like it that way. I want him to enforce the rules to the letter of the law, and punish the offenders.
I want my grandchildren, and yours, to be able to fish the productive waters of our North Carolina rivers one day, and I believe the good works of Lucas and his associates will pave the way for that to happen.
See you on the water, my friend!