The Province proclaimed Nov. 4 as the first-ever Conservation Officer Day in recognition of the important work done by B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service (COS) to protect the environment and ensure both human and wildlife safety.
This year also marks the 110th anniversary of the COS. From its humble beginnings in 1905 when officers were mostly volunteers and referred to as game wardens to today’s highly skilled and trained natural law enforcement agency, the core values of the COS have been a part of B.C.’s fabric for over a century.
Today’s COS is a dynamic and evolving compliance and enforcement organization. Conservation officers work throughout the province on investigations and enforcement, responding to human/wildlife conflicts, delivering outreach services and engaging with the public.
With advances in technology and enhanced equipment, officers are spending more time in the field with increased mobility and responsiveness.
Conservation officers often go above and beyond their regular duties, and 11 officers were recognized at a ceremony in Victoria for their outstanding dedication and service to British Columbians and the environment.
Those being recognized are:
• Jason Hawkes – Chief’s Commendation for Lifesaving
• Andrew Anaka – Chief’s Commendation for Lifesaving
• Micah Kneller – Chief’s Commendation – Exemplary Service
• Josh Lockwood – Award of Merit
• Kevin Van Damme – Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal
• Steve Jacobi – Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal
• Darrell Ashworth – Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal
• Brad Lacey – Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal
• Dave Webster – Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal
• Paul McFadden – Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal
• Martin Melderis – Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal.