The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) announced today that the 1999 Game Warden of the Year is Sergeant Steve Pike of Bedford. Sergeant Pike joined VDGIF in 1988 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1993. VDGIF Director William L. Woodfin, Jr. said of Sergeant Pike, “Steve serves as an excellent example for his fellow officers.
He has worked with citizen volunteers and local businesses to develop several innovative programs. We are proud of the numerous contributions he has made and continues to make.”
Some of Steve Pike’s accomplishments include the development of the first personal floatation device loaner program for children at Smith Mountain Lake. His involvement with Bedford County, where he is assigned, is extensive. He started a citizen-based organization to combat poaching in the county. He serves on the board of the Smith Mountain Lake Water Safety Council; speaks each year to the Liberty High School advanced studies class on the role of the game warden; and works with the Bedford City and County Recreation Department and private businesses to provide youth fishing clinics. He founded the Bedford County Sportsmen, Inc., a group that works to educate the community about wildlife and conservation issues pertaining to Bedford County.
Over the years he has been trained in a variety of courses, progressed into advanced courses and eventually became an instructor. Currently, Sergeant Pike serves as the Officer Survival Instructor for the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy; chief boating instructor for the Department; and Boat Accident Reconstruction instructor for Department in-service. He is also a guest instructor in Boat Accident Reconstruction for the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.
In 1994, Sergeant Pike was the first recipient from the VDGIF to receive the Law Enforcement Award from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. In 1997, the James River Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation presented him with an award for outstanding law enforcement efforts. In nominating him for 1999 Game Warden of the Year, Captain John Heslep noted, “Sergeant Pike goes above and beyond the call of duty to promote the mission of the Department. His excellent work ethic, leadership skills, and extra efforts to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth exemplify the Virginia Game Warden.” A selection committee made up of game wardens who all have previously received the honor chose Pike from nominees across the state. He will be presented the award at the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies conference in Greensboro, North Carolina in the fall.