EnCon officer remembered on the anniversary of his death

November 20, 2018

Tuesday marks 20 years since the first Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police Officer died in the line of duty.

James V. Spignesi, Jr., was killed while on routine patrol in Scotland, Conn., on Nov. 20, 1998.

Spignesi was a 21-year veteran of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, starting out as a seasonal employee in the wildlife division before moving into a permanent position as a wildlife biologist in the deer research program in 1981.

In 1991, Spignesi became an EnCon Police Officer. In 1998, he was awarded DEEP’s Medal for Meritorious Service after safely recovering a runaway youth in Natchaug State Forest.

Before joining the DEEP ranks, Spignesi studied at the University of Connecticut. He graduated from the university in 1975.

The James V. Spignesi, Jr., Memorial Scholarship Foundation at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut is still in place in his honor.

The annual scholarship is granted to an upperclassman who aspires to have a career in wildlife management or conservation law enforcement. Winners of the scholarship must also mirror Spignesi’s attributes of generosity, dedication and professionalism.

Donations to the scholarship funds can be made by check, payable to: James Spignesi Memorial Fund, 71 Westmont St., West Hartford, Conn., 06117.

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