By Mary-Kathryn Craft
Congratulations to Officer Dennis Sechler of the Shellfish Sanitation Program for being named DHEC’s 2015 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Officer Sechler, who works in the Myrtle Beach Office in the Pee Dee Environmental Quality Control Region, accepted the award on Thursday from Director Catherine Heigel.
“He constantly helps other agencies and works tireless hours with new employees to instill the same values he believes in, which is a commitment to excellence as a public servant and in government,” explained his supervisor Mike Marshall. “But more than anything else, Officer Sechler is an unbelievably caring person with more character, honor, and integrity than most can wish for.”
A member of the Regional Emergency Response Team and the field training officer for the Shellfish Program, Officer Sechler exemplifies our agency’s core values of promoting teamwork and embracing service.
He assisted in developing the Shellfish Law Enforcement Training Curriculum for new Shellfish Law Enforcement Officers that complete the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy. This includes both classroom and hands-on training for new officers.
The primary goal of our shellfish program is to ensure that shellfish and the areas from which they are harvested meet the health and environmental quality standards provided by federal guidelines and state regulations. The patrol activities conducted by our Shellfish Officers play an important role in helping the program meet its goals. These patrols are conducted on foot, by boat and on land vehicles.
In addition to his regular duties and conducting weekend, holiday and night-time patrols, Officer Sechler has assisted the S.C. Department of Natural Resources with fish and wildlife cases and the Coast Guard with removal of sunken vessels from waterways and marinas to ensure no pollution is released to harm the environment or public health.
Congratulations and thank you for your service, Officer Sechler!