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Greg Swanson Named Indiana Conservation Officer Of The Year
Updated May 25, 2015 8:30 AM
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(GREENE CO.) - Indiana Conservation Officers want your help in congratulating Officer Greg Swanson of Greene County, for being awarded the James D. Pitzer Award- 2014 Indiana Conservation Officer of the Year.

Indiana Conservation Officers gathered at the State Capital building to honor Officers from across the State for their accomplishments throughout the past year.

The James D. Pitzer Award is the highest sought after award for an Indiana Conservation Officer and with his family by his side, Greg received this award humbly. This award was named after Indiana Conservation Officer James D. Pitzer who was shot and killed in the line of duty.

Every year, each district selects an "Officer of the Year" by vote from their fellow piers. The IDNR Law Enforcement Division consists of ten districts statewide along with the Investigation Section. In January of 2015, Greg Swanson was chosen as the District 5's Officer of the year, which made him eligible to be considered for the "Pitzer Award". Each Officer nominated at the district level was considered for this award and the Director of the IDNR Law Enforcement Division, Danny East, made the final decision on the "Pitzer Award" recipient.

Greg grew up in District Five outside of Putnamville, graduating from South Putnam High School in 1995. He realized at a young age that a career as an Indiana Conservation Officer was the direction he wanted to take with his life. To help him achieve the goal, he enlisted in the National Guard at the age of 17, a position to which he continues to be very dedicated. Greg attended Vincennes University where he earned an Associates of Science Degree in Conservation Law. Greg graduated the ICO recruit school in 1998 and was given a permanent assignment of Greene County and is where he and his family live today.

Greg is very selfless in his service to the greater good as he possesses great character, morals, and humility. He presents a positive image for the Division through both his energetic interactions with the public and his fair treatment of the public during enforcement actions. Greg is a member of the ICO Dive Team and serves as a Defensive Tactics/Use of Force Instructor. As a result, he often is called upon to instruct Defensive Tactics for other local agencies, as well as basic course students at the ILEA. In addition, he has served as a drill instructor in 2006, 2009, and 2014, providing the recruits with essential training and skills to become successful in their future careers. He will again provide the recruits with training, as he was selected as a Senior Drill Instructor for the upcoming 2015 training program. Greg coordinated and provided training for the firing party at the First Annual South Region Memorial dedicated to those Officers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duties.

In April of 2014, Greg's peers voted him as their Peer Support Officer for District Five. In short, the officers in District Five felt he would be the most trustworthy, understanding, and helpful person to turn to during their times of need. This position is not to be taken lightly and again demonstrates the level of respect Greg has earned from his fellow officers. Greg has seen his fair share of troubled times as well, as a member of the US Army having served a tour of duty in Iraq in 2006 and a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2012. On May 21st, 2012 the armored truck he was riding in was attacked. The driver of the vehicle was killed, and all four passengers were injured. Greg sustained shrapnel wounds, and as a result was issued the distinguished Purple Heart Award. Greg later, in a display of selflessness, gave his award to the family of a World War II veteran whom was also injured during combat, but was never presented the very much deserved medal. To further demonstrate Greg's military accomplishments he won the 2009 Indiana Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Best Warrior Competition, the 2009 Regional Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Best Warrior Competition and went on to earn runner up in the National Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Best Warrior Competition.

In closing, Greg Swanson is the epitome of the Officer we all aspire to be, the level of dedication, passion, and commitment Greg possesses toward his profession is invaluable, thank you Greg for your service and dedication to your family and friends, this Division, and most importantly to your Country. (pictured in photo: IDNR Law Enforcement Division Director Danny East, Indiana Conservation Officer Greg Swanson)

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