New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos began the new year on a high note by naming Captain Karen Przyklek as the Director of DEC's Division of Law Enforcement (DLE). Przyklek's promotion follows a successful 26-year career with DLE during which she played a vital role investigating environmental crimes, assisting the public, and effectively enhancing the division's work. Pryzklek also makes history as the division's first woman director.
"Throughout her 26 years at DEC, Director Przyklek demonstrated a steadfast commitment to protecting communities from polluters and safeguarding natural resources," Commissioner Seggos said. "I'm honored to promote to her new role as Director as she breaks the glass ceiling and I am confident that she will lead DEC's outstanding Law Enforcement Officers with dignity and dedication."
Przyklek began as an Environmental Conservation Police Officer patrolling New York City in 1996, and later became an Investigator with the Division's Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation. In 2014, she was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, followed by Captain in 2019. Most recently, Przyklek served as Captain of the Division's Special Operations Group, which includes the statewide K9 Unit, Homeland Security/Radiation Unit, Wildlife Response Team, and Haz Mat Training Unit. Przyklek worked diligently to create DLE's Environmental Forensic Unit (EFU), one of the first such units in the nation, to collect forensic evidence at contaminated environmental and wildlife crime scenes. The Unit was deployed to multiple significant events throughout the State and brought the EFU to the forefront of environmental sampling and evidence collection. Przyklek is a 9/11 first responder and assisted DEC's response following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Prior to joining DEC, she served as a Deputy with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Rochester.
Director Przyklek said, "I am honored to work alongside men and women dedicated to protecting New York's fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. Our officers will also be actively engaging in environmental quality enforcement initiatives across the State to better enhance the health, safety, and well-being of all New Yorkers. Additionally, I'm committed to working to diversify our workforce and aim to increase the frequency of our police academies to better reflect the citizens of the state of New York."