Game wardens in Kansas serve as LEOs in the state’s wildlife areas and parks and are frequently called upon to intervene in dangerous situations and help members of the public. The law enforcement division of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism recently honored a number of game wardens for their exemplary service in 2014.
Award of Valor: Owen Johnson received the Award of Valor for his heroic actions following a vehicle accident. Despite serious injuries that included a triple fracture in a neck vertebra, a fractured eye socket, and three fractured ribs among other injuries, Johnson managed to call for help and assist the other victims of the accident until the paramedics arrived.
Award of Merit: Two Kansas game wardens were honored for their work. Hal Kaina investigated a series of copper wire thefts from irrigation systems, and his investigation led to the arrest of an individual. Greg Salisbury received his award for his actions during a house fire in Ottawa County.
Richard Harrold Memorial Award for Investigations: Jason Harrold and Matt Hanvey worked jointly to investigate a multi-year case of taking deer, including trophy animals, without permits or licenses. Their work led to the arrest of four individuals from Mississippi.
Live Saving Award:
- Josh Dehoux received this award for stopping at the scene of a vehicle accident on I-35 near Kansas City and performing CPR on the victim. Although the person did not survive, Dehoux was recognized for his efforts.
- Lance Hockett, Jeff Goeckler, and Jess Gehrt were honored for helping a hunter survive who had been shot with a 20 gauge shotgun.
Officer of the Year: Dave Adams was recognized for being the lead officer involved in investigating eight people who violated a number of wildlife and criminal laws.
Director’s Award: A number of individuals and one K-9 officer were honored for their role in investigating and prosecuting eight individuals. The charges included felony commercialization of wildlife and possessing stolen property. The awardees included Investigator Jason Hawman, Lt. Bob Funke, Jeff Cakin, Brad Hageman, Jon Entwhistle, Lynn Koch, Soctt Leamon, Mike Hopper, Gen Womelsdorf and K-9 Libby.
Boating Officer of the Year: This award went to Kurt Hudson for his role in improving boating safety across Kansas. He went “above and beyond to acquire advanced training.”