Sgt. Len Butler receives peace officer service medal

Sgt. Len Butler of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Zone is one of 11 members of the Conservation Officer Service recognized with a exemplary medal.

Sgt. Len Butler of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Zone is one of 11 members of the Conservation Officer Service who has been recognized for going above and beyond to protect B.C.’s residents and natural resources.

On Friday, Environment Minister Mary Polak joined the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of B.C., as she presented the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal to several conservation officers during their annual recertification training.

“I am extremely proud of all our conservation officers, and the dedication they show in protecting both public safety and the environment,” Polak said. “These officers serve the province with great integrity and courage. Congratulations to those members of the Conservation Officer Service awarded with this great honour.”

Guichon said the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal is a tangible way to honour dedicated conservation officers for their years of outstanding public service.

“It is an honour to congratulate them on this achievement and thank them for their dedication and courage,” she said.

As peace officers, conservation officers with 20 years of outstanding service may receive an exemplary service medal. Aside from Butler, Insp. Chris Doyle, Sgt. Steve Jacobi, Sgt. Greg Kondas, Sgt. Tobe Sprado, CO Gord Gudbranson, CO Peter Pauwels, CO Don Stahl and CO Kevin Van Damme received medals.

Butler has served as a peace officer for more than 30 years, was honoured with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and has also been recognized with an award of merit from the City of Nelson for his work in the region.

He enjoys fishing, hunting, and woodworking. He has been married to his wife Charlene for 33 years, and they have four sons: Tyler, Matthew, Daniel and Warren. i

Conservation officer Simon Gravel was also recognized with the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association 2013 Lifesaving Award for rescuing a woman who fell off her paddle board in Howe Sound. Without a personal flotation device, the woman could barely keep her head above water when Gravel found her. The conservation officer pulled her from the water and immediately began treatment for hypothermia, saving her life.

B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service is the province’s primary responder to human-wildlife conflicts where there is a risk to public safety, conservation concerns or where significant property damage has occurred.

In addition to regular uniformed members, the Conservation Officer Service’s Provincial Investigations Branch conducts large-scale industrial or commercial crime investigations.