The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) announced that the agency’s Game Warden of the Year is Steven M. Shires. Sergeant Shires joined the Department in 1983 and is currently assigned to Rockbridge County. Throughout his career with the VDGIF, Shires has received extensive training and has become an instructor for the agency. In addition, he is a Field Training Officer for entry level game wardens and a member of the Boating Cadre. In that capacity he serves as a training officer instructing in boating courses such as boat and PWC operation, boating firearms and marine tactical, boating accident investigations, boarding procedures, and marine theft. Shires has also developed one- to three-day seminars on electronic surveillance, GPS usage, computer training and proper metal detector usage. Said VDGIF Director William L. Woodfin, Jr., “Over the years Steve Shires has earned a reputation for excelling at solving complex cases that involve specialized investigation and surveillance skills. And he’s taken it a step farther, by sharing his expertise. We’re proud of how he has represented the Department and are pleased he has been selected Game Warden of the Year.”
Sergeant Shires has offered training to law enforcement personnel with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and city and county law enforcement agencies. Chief of VDGIF’s Law Enforcement Division Colonel Jeffrey A. Uerz said of Shires, “He works to acquire the latest skills, adapt them to real situations, and then pass those skills on to others, continually improving the caliber of law enforcement in Virginia.”
In 1987, Sergeant Steven Shires received an Eastman Kodak Award of Excellence in Law Enforcement Photography. In 1994, he appeared on an episode of a national television show called “Eyewitness Video” as a result of his surveillance work to stop illegal tire dumping in Rockbridge County. In 1995, the U.S. National Forest gave him an award for his work with surveillance and electronic tracking techniques that enabled national forest law enforcement officers to stop larcenies that were occurring on their property. He again was recognized for his surveillance work when a case he had worked was featured on the television program “Real TV” in January 2000.
Shires currently serves on the board of the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council. He is a member of the Crime Line of Rockbridge County. As a hunter education instructor he has taught more than 4,000 children and adults the importance of safe hunting. Each year he works with the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. He also has had articles and photographs published in Virginia Wildlife magazine, International Game Warden magazine and Gobbler Tracks magazine.