Conservation Enforcement Officer Drowns In Line Of Duty

Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officer Lance Horner, Jr., 32, of Grove Hill drowned Sunday, June 22, 2003, while on patrol on the Tombigbee River.  Officer Horner was assisting another officer whose boat was disabled above the Coffeeville Lock and Dam when his boat capsized. 

 “Lance was a bright, capable officer, helpful by nature,” said Corky Pugh, Director of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. “He will be terribly missed.”

Horner, 32, originally from Eufaula, was employed by the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries’ Enforcement Section in 1996, and assigned to the District 5 post in Clarke County. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting and fishing, and shared that interest with others. As an instructor for the Hunter Education Program, Horner helped train future hunters with emphasis on hunter safety. In the field, he assisted with the Youth Hunts held at Scotch Wildlife Management Area.

Officer Horner was universally well-liked and dependable. His fellow officers knew that he could be counted on whenever called upon to help. He also assisted the Clarke County Sheriff’s Department on numerous occasions. Horner was a member of the National Rifle Association, Alabama State Employees Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and the Police Benevolent Association.

 “It’s a real tragedy that something like that would happen,” said M. Barnett Lawley, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “It’s a loss for us that has had a tremendous effect on everyone. Our concerns are especially for those close to him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family.”

Officer Horner is survived by his wife and an infant son.