The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries dedicated a statue May 21 in Baton Rouge to honor those Enforcement Division agents who have died in the line of duty.
The statue depicts an LDWF Enforcement Division agent in an honor guard uniform with his head bowed honoring fallen agents. The statue sits on top of a granite pedestal that is engraved with the names of the seven LDWF agents that have been killed in the line of duty.
“Enforcement agents have a very dangerous job since they are often in remote areas by themselves without backup and sometimes at night. The training the agents receive alleviates a lot of the dangers that the job brings, but there are still a lot of instances where agents put themselves in harm’s way,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division. “This statue will memorialize those agents that lost their lives while upholding rules and regulations that protect Louisiana’s natural resources.”
The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association purchased and donated the statue to LDWF where it will permanently stand at their headquarters building.
The following are the agents who are engraved on the pedestal and honored by the statue:
Sgt. Paul Stuckey, 47, was shot and killed when his shotgun accidentally discharged on Sept. 30, 2011. Sgt. Stuckey was responding to reports of night hunting in West Feliciana Parish at the time of the accidental discharge. Sgt. Stuckey was an 18-year veteran and is survived by his wife and three children.
Agent Jim Matkin, 30, was killed in an automobile accident while on-duty in Concordia Parish on March 2, 2005. Agent Matkin was a six year veteran and was survived by his parents, two sisters and a step-son.
Capt. John Garlington, 53, drowned while investigating a report of illegal gill net fishing on the Mill Creek Reservoir in Bienville Parish on Feb. 10, 2000. Capt. Garlington was responding to the report at approximately 3 a.m. Capt. Garlington was a 14 year veteran.
Agent Leon Henderson, 36, was killed in an accident while en route to a reported drowning in Morehouse Parish. Agent Henderson was transported to a local hospital where he died two weeks later on March 30, 1996. Agent Henderson was a 15 year veteran and was survived by his wife and daughter.
Agent Ricky Dodge, 37, was killed when his all-terrain vehicle flipped over as he was responding to a call about a game violation on Jan. 21, 1992 in Avoyelles Parish. Agent Dodge was survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Agent Kenneth Aycock, 35, drowned while on duty on July 6, 1991 in Morehouse Parish. Agent Aycock was survived by his wife and two sons.
Agent Frank Fagot, 31, was shot and killed by a poacher he was attempting to arrest on Nov. 29, 1927. Agent Fagot was survived by his wife and two children.
LDWF dates back to 1912 when it was constitutionally created as the Conservation Commission of Louisiana as a department of state government, making the Law Enforcement Division 101 years old.
LDWF and LWAA will hold a ceremony in the fall to honor those whom gave the ultimate sacrifice while performing their duties as LDWF enforcement agents.