NASHVILLE — Joel McSpadden has been named the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Wildlife Officer of the Year for the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA). McSpadden is assigned to Rhea County and works throughout TWRA District 32’s 12 counties.

    McSpadden’s award was announced by Darren Rider, TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division colonel.

    Joel McSpadden

    McSpadden was selected for the honor from among other TWRA law enforcement officers to become the state recipient. He is scheduled to be recognized during the 74th Annual SEAFWA Conference in late October which this year will be a virtual event due to the impact of COVID-19.

    Also honored as TWRA region and district selections were Brant Luker, Region I and Matt Canada, District 11; David Crane, Region II and Dustin Deaton, District 21; Derrick Grey, District 31: John Ripley, Region IV and Anthony Chitwood, District 41. These officers were selected for their efforts in teamwork, public outreach, innovation, attitude, leadership, achievements and accomplishments.

    “As always, it’s difficult 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,” Rider said. “All these officers are to be commended for their professionalism and efforts they displayed this year. All these officers had a fantastic year, but Joe really excelled in all aspects of his job. His achievements and accomplishments were outstanding.”

    McSpadden was involved with several communication and outreach events. They were centered around sportsman’s groups, boat shows, school programs, and a youth hunt on Blythe Ferry WMA.

    His law enforcement efforts resulted in issuing in issuing 177 citations and warnings for boating and wildlife violations and assisting other officers 38 times. Joe arrested two individuals for BUI while inspecting 132 vessels for compliance and investigated five boating accidents. He also handled 176 CAD calls this year.

    “Joe has worked tirelessly with TWRA’s recently acquired Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and Mobile Computer Terminal (MCT) system to document illegal activity and discover license and check in violations,” Rider said.  “ Joe is certainly not only a great asset for the Agency but also for the hunters, anglers and boaters in the State of Tennessee.”

    McSpadden was also selected as District 32’s Waterfowl Officer of the Year. He is a Region III firearms instructor and became certified as a SSGT instructor and trained cadets at the Tennessee Wildlife Officer Training Academy.

    SEAFWA is an organization whose members are the state agencies with primary responsibility for management and protection of the fish and wildlife resources in 15 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.