Mann named Indiana’s top conservation officer


Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Tony Mann was awarded the James Pitzer Award for Top Indiana Conservation Officer for 2017 earlier this month.


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 the statewide version: The Pitzer Award.

Indiana conservation officer James D. Pitzer was shot in the line of duty Jan. 1, 1961, in Jay County while investigating illegal hunting activity and died as a result of his wounds.

Since 1997, Mann has served in District 7. The 10-county district covers Dubois, Spencer, Pike, Daviess, Gibson, Martin, Perry, Posey, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.

Mann is assigned to Martin and Dubois counties. He began his career as a conservation officer in 1990, when he was assigned to Boone County.

During the summer of 2017, Mann made 104 enforcement actions in an attempt to educate the public about safe boating. He logged more than 170 hours of boating-related activity for the year. He also completed the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s search and rescue program at Camp Atterbury, earning certification as a search and rescue (SAR) technician.

Mann also serves as a DNR defensive tactics instructor, as a National Archery in School Program (NASP) instructor, and as a tree-stand accident investigator. Considered the division’s expert on tree-stand safety, he reviews and documents all tree-stand accidents and has done several public service announcements in the last few years on the topic. He does frequent personal appearances for the division regarding hunter and boater education.

During his 26 years of service as an Indiana conservation officer, Mann previously had received recognition as District 7 Officer of the Year, District 7 Boating Officer of the Year, and the District Hunter Education Officer of the Year.

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