Jonathan Lee has been named the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Wildlife Officer of the Year for the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA).
The recipient of the award was announced by Darren Rider, TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division Chief.
Lee is a wildlife officer in TWRA Region II's District 21 and was selected among other TWRA law enforcement officers to become the state recipient. He will be recognized at the annual SEAFWA meeting in October, which this year will be held in Oklahoma City. Lee is assigned to Rutherford County but works throughout the 12 counties in District 21.
Also honored as TWRA region and district selections were Stephen Graves, Region I and Ed Gover, District 11; Mark Ventura, District 22; Johnny Poston, Region III and Kip Kite, District 32: Wade Young, Region IV and James McAfee, District 42. The officers were selected for their efforts in teamwork, public outreach, innovation, attitude, leadership, achievements and accomplishments.
"It's always a difficult situation when one officer is selected out of a group of officers that have all gone above and beyond the duty of ensuring Tennessee hunters, anglers and boaters are provided safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities," said Rider. "All these officers are to be commended for their professionalism and efforts they displayed this year. All these officers had a fantastic year, but Jonathan really excelled in all aspects of his job. His teamwork and outreach efforts were outstanding."
Among his activities during the year, he conducted six school programs for 525 students and a "Hunter's Night Out" program for 400 people. He held a youth fishing event. Lee taught six hunter education courses in which 173 students were certified. He assisted with the National Wild Turkey Federation convention and the state championships for the National Archery in the Schools Program.
He instructed high school students at the Tennessee Outdoor Youth Summit held in Montgomery County, assisted with a fishing trip for wounded soldiers, and also assisted in a landowner's program for hog eradication.
"Jonathan's efforts in excellence and innovation were also great," said Rider. "He was able to put his prior training and skills with the military to use by training and qualifying all of Region II's commissioned officers with the newly issued M-16 rifles."
He recently attended an Officer Down training that taught both active shooter situations and combat first aid. These techniques will be passed on to his fellow officers during future trainings.
Lee was involved in helping rescue a critically injured teen on a Wildlife Management Area. After a 911 call in regard to the accident, Lee used his knowledge of the area and was able to locate the teenager a mile from the road and direct a medical air lift helicopter to the scene.
Lee's attitude and leadership efforts are also to be commended, according to Rider. "He is dedicated to promoting TWRA and serving the citizens of Tennessee" said Rider. "He approaches his job with sincerity while maintaining a professional demeanor."
He made field contact with 363 hunters and anglers and 291 boaters. These contacts resulted in 104 citations. He assisted with 17 boaters in need of assistance and helped in the recovery a stolen boat.