2013-06-11 / Front Page

Dale Clark Of Spencer Receives DNR ‘Officer Of The Year Award’

Staff Report


Indiana Conservation Officer Dale Clark, left, is awarded the Indiana DNR Division of Law Enforcement’s Pitzer Award for 2012. Presenting the award is Law Enforcement Director Colonel Scotty Wilson. (Courtesy Photo) Indiana Conservation Officer Dale Clark, left, is awarded the Indiana DNR Division of Law Enforcement’s Pitzer Award for 2012. Presenting the award is Law Enforcement Director Colonel Scotty Wilson. (Courtesy Photo) Owen County resident and Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Dale Clark was recently awarded the 2012 Division of Law Enforcement’s Pitzer Award for 2012. The Outstanding Officer of the Year honor is presented in memory of James D. Pitzer, a conservation officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1961.

The award’s namesake was killed by gunfire on January 2, 1961 while conducting an investigation in Jay County.

Clark, who is assigned to Owen County in District 5, is active in community and school programs, especially National Archery in the Schools, and is a field training officer and advanced sonar operator.

Clark became eligible for the award after being named District 5 Officer of the Year by his peers in that district.

Officer Clark was selected by the command staff from nominees submitted from each of the ten districts statewide. Nominees are named by their peers in each respective district based on their professional bearing, dedication to the law enforcement profession, and service to the public.

Senior Officer Clark is a native of Ohio and a graduate of Oak Hills High School. After obtaining an associate’s degree from Hocking Technical College, Officer Clark was accepted into the Indiana Conservation Officer’s Recruit School, appointed as a Probationary Officer in 1999 and assigned to Owen County in District Five.

Officer Clark serves in additional roles as an Emergency Vehicle Operation Instructor, Advanced Interviewer, Field Training Officer, and Watercraft Crash Investigator.

During 2012, officer Clark was involved in several high-profile investigations including one which involved a man creating an elaborately staged hoax. The man allegedly devised a plan to make it appear that he had been shot by an unknown assailant but in fact a gun had been remotely rigged by the man to shoot himself while his vital areas were shielded.

District Five Commander, Lt. Kent Hutchins made the following comments in senior officer Clark’s most recent performance appraisal: “When dealing with criminal suspects and other citizens, officer Clark is pleasant and affable, but displays the firmness necessary to maintain order. He is a competent officer, possessed of good judgment and maturity who is steady and reliable. He is a valuable asset to the district and Law Enforcement Division.”

Clark and his wife, Wendy, make their home east of Spencer.

Other district officers of the year were: Jerry Hoerdt (1), John Deem (2), Matthew Tholen (3), Edward Bollman (4), Bryan Knoy (6), Jonathan Watkins (7), Matthew Pearcy (8), Brandon Shoults (9) and Jeffery Richwine (10).

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