BY MELANIE BUCK –
Joel Campora, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officer First Class, has been chosen to be inducted into the 2015 Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame. The Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame began in 1992 as a project of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation to recognize Arkansans’ achievements in outdoor fields, promote conservation education and to protect wildlife habitat.
Campora died in the line of duty on May 31, 2013, along with fellow law enforcement officer, Scott County Sheriff Cody Carpenter while the two were attempting to rescue two women trapped in their home that was consumed by overnight floodwaters near Y-City.
Campora was a native of Polk County and had been serving AGFC since 2007. He resided in Scott County with his wife, Rebecca, and two daughters at the time of the incident.
Since his passing, Campora has been honored by many agencies including receiving AGFC Wildlife Officer of the Year in 2013, nominated to be honored as the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agency Officer of the Year 2013, and a billboard in Waldron serves as a reminder of the tremendous sacrifice that he and Carpenter made that treacherous night. In an interview earlier this year, Rebecca Campora said, “The year after he died was so busy. I attended so many events that recognized or honored him. I have 3 totes of awards he received, I’ve traveled all over, Brinkley, Oklahoma City, Nashville, Tennessee. Very active in multiple organizations, she now spends her time as an advocate for families of law enforcement.
Campora considered his life as a game warden his dream job and had been a game warden since 2007. He was also a member of the AGFC Dive Team and the Disaster Response Team.
Joel Campora will be honored with fellow nominees, Steve Bowman, George Dunklin Jr., Jerry Fisk, and Jim Gaston (Legacy Award Winner), in a banquet and auction on August 21 in Little Rock. To purchase tickets to the event or for more information, contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation office at 501-223-6468 or email Lori.firstname.lastname@example.org.