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Marine Fisheries - nr-35-2011 Patrol Officer of the Year

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: Aug. 17, 2011

Walker Named Marine Patrol Officer of the Year

MOREHEAD CITY – Being selected as Marine Patrol Officer of the Year came a little later in Sgt. Jason Walker’s career than he ever anticipated.

“I had my heart set on it years ago in the field, and it never happened,” said Walker, who has risen through the ranks in his 13 years with Marine Patrol. “After you get promoted, you think that’s never going to happen.”

The internal nomination process for the award begins with the field officers, and supervisors are not often picked. So it is a particular honor for Walker to be selected for the Governor’s Award for Marine Patrol Officer of the Year for 2010.

“It’s something that’s made my family proud . . . and me also,” Walker said.

Walker was chosen because he exemplifies the attributes of a leader, said Jim Kelley, captain of Marine Patrol’s Southern District that runs from the Emerald Isle bridge to the South Carolina line. Walker supervises patrols from the Wrightsville Beach bridge to the South Carolina state line.

“Jason is not only one of the most outstanding officers that I’ve ever dealt with but probably one of the most outstanding people,” Kelley said. “He works hard, he’s dedicated and he’s pretty much a good all around person, and he’s respected by anyone he has had dealings with.”

Walker started with the Marine Patrol in August 1998 in Aurora, working on the Pamlico River.

“He was a very quick study who enjoyed his work and the fishermen in his assigned area,” Kelley said. “He was known for his hard work and liked because he was fair and respectful to everyone.”

 In 2001, Walker transferred to the Southport area, where he worked until August 2007, when he attained the rank of sergeant. The promotion took him to the Northern District where he supervised officers in Hyde County and the Outer Banks portion of Dare County.

“This was Sgt. Walker’s first experience as a supervisor,” Kelley said, “but the same things that helped him in his life experiences and in his field work were destined to help him as a manager: hard work, respect and fairness.”

Walker made another move in June 2008 to the Pender County/Onslow County area of the Southern District, then to the Brunswick County area in November 2009.

 Walker graduated in 1997 from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a degree in criminology. He lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Noah, in the Boiling Springs community in Brunswick County.

Walker will receive his award Aug. 27 at the North Carolina Wildlife Federation’s 48th annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Program in Durham.

nr-35-2011

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-263

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