Watkins named DNR district officer of the year

From Local Sources


Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Jon Watkins, who is assigned to Dubois County, has been named the 2018 District 7 Officer of the Year.

District 7 is a 10-county district covering Dubois, Spencer, Pike, Daviess, Gibson, Martin, Perry, Posey, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.

The law enforcement division of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has 10 districts statewide. Each selects an officer of the year by a vote of the district’s officers. Winners are then in the running for a statewide version of the award, called the Pitzer Award.

Indiana conservation officer James D. Pitzer was shot in the line of duty and died as a result of his wounds. The director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will select the winner of the award named after him.

Watkins, a native of LaPorte County in far northern Indiana, graduated from Valparaiso University before attending the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and being assigned locally in 2006. He is active in the Dubois County Hunter Education and 4-H Shooting Sports programs and serves as a National Archery in the Schools Program coach at Northeast Dubois High School.

Besides being a perennial leader in enforcement actions and public appearances, Watkins also serves as a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators instructor, background investigator, boat accident investigator and sonar operator.

This is the third time Watkins has been selected for the District 7 award, which is chosen annually by his peers. He also won in 2010 and 2012. His other past awards include three district Boating Officer of the Year selections and the State of Indiana Boating Officer of the Year award in 2015. 

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