By Ronnie Weston| August 9, 2013 at 3:20 PM CDT - Updated July 11 at 9:31 AM
WALDRON (AGFC) – Wildlife Officer 1st Class Joel Campora has been named the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Officer of the Year. Campora died May 31 during a water rescue attempt in western Arkansas.
His body was recovered June 2 near the location where flood waters from Mill Creek and the Fourche La Fave River also took the lives of Scott County Sheriff Cody Carpenter and two women.
Campora had been a wildlife officer with the AGFC since 2007. He was assigned to Scott County and lived in Waldron with his wife and two children.
Campora will now be nominated to become the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies officer of the year. He was noted for the many community-based events he attended. Campora was an instructor for boating education and hunter's education classes. He also participated in several school programs at Waldron High school. He also worked at the Outdoor Youth Expo and organized kid's fishing derbies. Campora also worked boating safety by participating in Operation Dry Water and the Big Bass Bonanza on the Arkansas River.
In addition to being involved with public relations programs, Campora had spent a great deal of time assisting youth in his community. He was a Deacon in his church and served as a youth leader and mentor.
Campora worked closely with city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Scott County. He assisted the U.S. Forest Service by conducting deer decoy sets, illegal dump sites, boating, littering enforcement, alcohol and drug enforcement and marijuana eradication on National Forest land.
He was instrumental in developing information that assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in arrests of individuals involved in a large international drug distribution network that was operating within the state.