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C.O. Howerton among top conservation officers honored

C.O. Howerton among top conservation officers honored C.O. Howerton among top conservation officers honored

The Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources’ Division of Law Enforcement recently recognized top conservation officers at an awards ceremony in Indianapolis.

Officer Zac Howerton, who is assigned to District 8, which includes Harrison, Crawford, Floyd, Washington, Orange, Clark, Jackson, Lawrence, Perry and Scott counties, was presented with the 2019 Waterfowl Protection Officer of the Year award for his enforcement of waterfowl regulations and his related performance in public education and community interaction.

Officer Jordan Brand, District 4, was named as the James D. Pitzer Indiana Conservation Officer of the Year. Brand was selected from the 10 District Officer of the Year winners, and the award establishes him as the top conservation officer of 2019.

The Pitzer award is named in remembrance of James D. Pitzer, who was killed in the line of duty on June 2, 1961, in Jay County. The recipient is selected based on demonstration of professional ethics, attitude and service to the public while demonstrating dedication to the conservation of natural resources and the enforcement of those laws affecting the department. The officer must also demonstrate the ability to provide a positive influence, develop camaraderie within the ranks and gain confidence and respect of fellow officers.

Other honorees were Lt. Kent Hutchins, District 5, Director’s Leadership Award for his work, leadership and dedication during his 40-year career; Matt Garringer, District 4, 2019 William J. Nattkemper Brotherhood Award; Officer Matt Maher, District 1, Boating Enforcement Officer of the Year; Rhett Braun, District 4, Life Saving Award for his heroic and quick response to a 911 call regarding a suicidal subject that included rendering life-saving first aid; and Braun and Officer Cole Hollingsworth, Meritorious Service Award for their efforts rescuing an 11-year-old girl from drowning after she fell into the Whitewater River in Richmond.