The Shikar-Safari Club International today named Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer Michael Bibeau its 2018 Wildlife Officer of the Year during the Commission meeting near Tallahassee.
Shikar-Safari Club International is a conservation-based organization that presents awards annually to wildlife law enforcement officers in all states, provinces and territories in the United States and Canada.
The annual award honors a state officer whose efforts show outstanding performance and achievement among sworn conservation law enforcement personnel.
“Officer Bibeau is a fine example of our dedicated law enforcement officers who are out there every day protecting the public and conserving Florida’s natural resources,” said Commission Chairman Bo Rivard. “We are pleased to recognize his accomplishments and are honored to have him representing the FWC.”
Originally from Pinellas County, where he now patrols, Bibeau makes a positive impact both on- and off-duty, and his actions set an example that reaches statewide. He serves as a field training officer and has experience serving on the FWC’s elite Special Operations Group.
Bibeau was recently selected to be a member of the inaugural Advanced Conservation Academy where he traveled and trained in every region of the state. This year-long professional development program is offered to select sworn members, giving them the opportunity to travel to each region in the state to develop and hone their skills.
This past year, Officer Bibeau rescued four occupants of an overturned personal water craft who had fallen off and were being swept out to sea by strong currents, logged 27 search-and-rescue hours, removed two impaired vessel operators from the water, addressed numerous resource misdemeanors, issued three major resource violations and promoted conservation stewardship and education by issuing multiple warnings. He logged more than 1,300 water patrol hours and more than 133 shellfish patrol days, and maintains a strong working relationship with other local agencies.
In addition to other outreach events, Officer Bibeau participates in the Great American Teach-In program, taking time to provide elementary and middle school students real life insights into the world of a conservation law enforcement officer, while reinforcing the importance of education for success in any occupation. He is a steadfast ambassador for conservation and a positive influence on visitors and residents of Florida.
He was also awarded the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association 2017 Lifesaving Award for saving the life of a drowning man who jumped off the Tierra Verde Bridge.
“This is a great honor and I’m blessed to be asked to represent the FWC throughout the year. I want to offer my thanks to my lieutenant and my squad, who motivate me to work hard every day,” said Bibeau.
To learn more about becoming an FWC officer, visit JoinFWC.com.