April 1, 2016

136TH ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY: Maine Warden Service

[Winslow, Maine - March 31, 2015] The Maine Warden Service celebrated its 136th anniversary yesterday at the Winslow VFW. Included in the days celebration was the annual awards banquet that gives special recognition to game wardens for their performance in 2015 and includes the recipient of the Maine Game Warden of the Year award. Also highlighted are those who assist the Maine Warden Service during the course of their mission, the legendary game warden of the year, supervisor of the year, and the Colonel’s Award.

The work of Maine’s game wardens is diverse and challenging and takes place during the best and worst of weather conditions. Some of the achievements that were recognized included lifesaving events in which game wardens clearly saved human lives. Examples ranged from preventing a heroin overdose, saving a lost person from hypothermia, and placing a convicted murderer back in prison. A canine team search and rescue case was honored for tracking a missing man and saving his life while another canine team case brought an intentional fish and wildlife violator to justice by detecting crucial evidence. The Maine Warden Service is proud to be able to honor game wardens who made a distinct difference in people’s lives and for conserving Maine’s natural resources in 2015. The following were recipients of this year’s awards.

2015 Maine Game Warden of the Year: Recipient: Game Warden Tom McKenney – photo attached (Norridgewock) Game Warden Tom McKenney started his career in the Ripogenus Dam district where he patrolled for nearly four years. It was there that Warden McKenney learned to become a well-rounded game warden. He developed a keen eye and his never-quit attitude towards upholding the state’s fish and wildlife laws showed through. Tom and his family moved from the Ripogenus Dam district to the Norridgewock district in 2010, where he continues to work today. Warden McKenney was assigned the Norridgewock district and made the transition from being a woods warden to a warden that patrols a much more populated part of the state. Tom handles a high volume of calls for service and continues to aggressively seek out intentional violators and address these issues appropriately. Warden McKenney has developed a very positive rapport with the citizens in his district and they often bring problems to his attention.

From the moment that Tom started his career as a Maine game warden to present day, he has been the epitome of hard work and consistency. Regardless of the season, time of year, or weather, he starts out every day striving to make a difference and be a positive and hard-working member of his section and of the Maine Warden Service. Because of Tom’s proactive approach to warden work that goes above and beyond, his assistance with planning for the future of the Warden Service, his gregarious attitude within the community, the consistency he exhibits, and the deep desire to protect the natural resources of the State of Maine, Game Warden Tom McKenney was presented the 2015 Maine Game Warden of the Year award.

K9 Search and Rescue of the Year Award: Recipient: Jeremy Judd K9 Tundra (Mechanic Falls)

K9 Conservation Case of the Year Award: Recipient: Kris MacCabe K9 Morgan (Wilton)

Exemplary Service Awards: Recipients: Game Warden’s Sergeants Aaron Cross (Morrill), Alan Gillis (Orrington), Bruce Loring (Enfield), Ethan Buuck (2 awards, Mt. Vernon), Kris MacCabe (2 awards, Wilton), Bob Johansen (2 awards, Millinocket), Tony Gray (2 awards, Oxford), Dave Chabot (Greene), Maine State Trooper Jason Wing, Tim Coombs (Stoneham), Dave Ross (China), Eric Rudolph (Ellsworth), Dave Georgia (Greenfield TWP), Phil Richter (Lamoine), Kyle Hladik (Millinocket), Troy Dauphinee (Shirley), Chad Robertson (Madison), Andrew Smart (Ashland), Charles Brown (Dyer Brook) A certificate for Exemplary Service shall be presented when, in the opinion of the Awards Board, a Warden has rendered relevant outstanding service which deserves special recognition.

Maine Warden Association Merit Awards: Recipients: Auburn Fire Chief Frank Roma, Lt. Chris Morretto, and Erik Poland. The MWSA Merit Award provides recognition to a civilian(s) for highly meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service. For the purpose of this award, conduct above the ordinary course of duty, when a civilian, because of individual or team initiative, courage and diligence, provides assistance with the goals and mission of the Maine Warden Service.

Legendary Game Warden Award: Recipient: Richard “Dick” Longley (Anson): Served 1945-1968 The Legendary Game Warden of the Year award shall be presented to any retired member of the Maine Warden Service who, consistently in the past, conducted themselves in such a manner as to display exceptional expertise in the areas of conservation law enforcement and since retiring has continued to provide a passion for meeting the goals and mission of the MWS.

Supervisor of the Year: Recipient: Lieutenant Dan Scott (Hampden): Division C - Bangor The Outstanding Supervisor Award is presented annually to the supervisory officer who has demonstrated superior knowledge and leadership in the area of conservation law enforcement supervision and by doing so has gained the respect of administrators, supervisors, fellow officers, other Department employees, other agencies and the public regarding expertise and performance in the field of supervision.

Colonel’s Award: 2015 Recipient: David Delorme Presented annually to an individual or individuals who the Colonel has determined have provided distinguished support and/or service to the Maine Warden Service and/or its mission. Maine Warden Service Colonel Joel Wilkinson.