Long-Time Area Game Warden Honored

A Salina area game warden was among a group honored honored for exemplary efforts.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism law enforcement division presented several game wardens with awards for their outstanding efforts both on and off the field in 2014. According to the agency, the following officers were recognized for their exemplary efforts:

The Award of Merit was presented to Hal Kaina and Greg Salisbury. Kaina received the award for his investigation work in developing information leading to the arrest of an individual involved in the theft of copper wire from agricultural irrigation systems. Salisbury received the award for his actions relating to a house fire in rural Ottawa County.

Matt Hanvey and Jason Harrold were presented with the Richard Harrold Memorial Award for Investigations. Hanvey and Harrold were recognized for their investigation of a multi-year case involving four individuals from Mississippi. All four violators were charged and arrested on several charges, including multiple counts of taking deer, some classified as trophy animals, without licenses or permits.

The Boating Officer of the Year Award was presented to Kurt Hudson for his efforts in advancing boating safety across the state by participating in a variety of training and educational programs, special enforcement efforts aimed at reducing impaired operation of watercraft, and going above and beyond to acquire advanced training.

Josh DeHoux was presented with the Live Saving Award. DeHoux, who witnessed a vehicle accident on I-35 in the Kansas City area, stopped and helped perform CPR on one of the victims. Although the victim did not survive, DeHoux is recognized for his efforts to save the life of another person.

Jeff Goeckler, Lance Hockett and Jesse Gehrt were also presented with the Live Saving Award for their efforts in saving a hunter shot with a 20 gauge shotgun. Through their direct action and working in coordination with local EMS personnel, the victim survived the injury.

The Award of Valor was presented to Owen Johnson. Johnson, while on patrol, was involved in a vehicle accident. Although sustaining serious injuries himself, including a triple fracture to his fifth neck vertebrae, a fractured eye socket, broken nose, three fractured ribs and multiple contusions of the head, Johnson still managed to notify emergency services and rendered aid to the other victims of the accident until emergency services arrived on the scene.

The Director’s Award was presented to Lt. Bob Funke, Brad Hageman, Jeff Cakin, Lynn Koch, Jon Entwhistle, Mike Hopper, Scott Leamon, Ben Womelsdorf and K-9 Libby, and Investigator Jason Hawman for their work in the investigation and prosecution of eight individuals who were charged with 48 violations. The charges included four counts of felony commercialization of wildlife as well as charges for the possession of stolen property. Officers from the Department’s Public Lands Section, Parks Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Osage County Sheriff’s Officer were also involved in the investigation.

Dave Adams was presented with the Officer of the Year Award. Adams, who was recently the lead officer in the investigation of eight individuals violating numerous wildlife and criminal laws, was recognized for his dedication to the mission of conservation law enforcement. Apart from his law enforcement duties, Adams is also involved in hunter education, boating safety, and the Archery in the Schools Program.