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ICO Joe Tenbarge Nominated For District Officer Of The Year
Updated March 11, 2016 6:21 AM
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(BROWN CO.) - Indiana Conservation officer Joe Tenbarge has been nominated for District Officer of the Year.

Officer Tenbarge represents Operational District Six, which served Hancock, Marion, Hendricks, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan, Bartholomew, Brown and Monroe Counties.

Officer Tenbarge will now be in the running with nominees from all ten Indiana Conservation Operational Districts for the James D. Pitzer Conservation Officer of the Year. The winner of this statewide award will be announced in May.

Officer Tenbarge was also nominated as the District Six Boating Officer of the year.

The duties of a conservation officer are wide and varied, but whether his or her focus of the day is on the woods or the waters, the conservation officer strives to serve the public each day in the areas of law enforcement, service, and education.

Despite being a young, new officer, Officer Tenbarge has quickly earned the respect of his peers based on his work ethic, professionalism and demeanor. He is extremely knowledgeable of all the laws and rules, is a sound investigator, has become a dependable resource in his community, and eagerly takes on additional tasks.

Officer Tenbarge exemplifies the ideals of a seasoned officer, including when these areas pertain to boating and water safety. In serving others, he has earned the respect of both those the public he serves and of his peers. Joe is a certified Public Safety Diver, NASBLA Instructor, and serves our country in the USCG Reserve.

Officer Tenbarge began his career in 2011 and is assigned to Brown County in central Indiana. He received several "Exceeds Expectation" ratings on his 2015 Annual Appraisal Report. His patrol tactics and observation skills resulted in 173 citations and 62 warnings. His strongest categories were hunting, boating, DNR property regulations, criminal, drug and alcohol violations and traffic.

Officer Tenbarge works very closely with local law enforcement agencies, and it is not uncommon for them to contact him directly for assistance, on and off duty. He continues to build relationships with the Brown County Sheriff Department and the Brown County State Park staff and employees.

In the area of boating law enforcement in 2015, Officer Tenbarge logged 104 boat stops with 20 boating related arrests and/or citations being issued and 21 written warnings being served. He made 1 Boating While Intoxicated arrest and investigated 3 boating accidents. Officer Tenbarge volunteered to work numerous weekends that he had scheduled off or extended his normal shift and reported 85 hours dedicated to boating enforcement efforts that was over and above normal patrol. Officer Tenbarge routinely and aggressively patrols Lake Monroe, which is Indiana's largest man made reservoir that covers over 10,000 acres of water.

The following are Officer Tenbarge's notable involvements during 2015:

  • Officer Tenbarge responded to a call from Monroe County on the way home from a training day to assist with the apprehension of a suspect that fled from a multi-agency pursuit that ended on Monroe Reservoir property. Joe launched a boat and with due diligence and patience, located the suspect from the water by boat and took him into custody.
  • Completed an extensive investigation involving multiple suspects that resulted from a complaint from BCSP staff of suspicious persons. Several arrests were made in coordination with utside local agencies for drugs and wanted persons. The case resulted in the solving of a residential burglary in Morgan County and the initiated the investigation into the fraudulent use of stolen credit cards.
  • Readily available for callout in the middle of the night for flash flooding calls in Brown County. He spent all night searching for a missing person in the flood waters. He sent home only to change clothes and then report to a statewide dive meeting out of the district.
  • Made an arrest for Boating while intoxicated on a local police officer. Officer Tenbarge completed the investigation that presented many challenges. He was wholly supported by the arrested officer's agency.

In the area of education, Officer Tenbarge made public appearances at local schools, teaching water safety and putting on SCUBA demonstrations. Joe also appeared at local fire departments to teach swift water safety. Always learning himself, he trains monthly as a diver and attended and completed the NASBLA Pursuit and Stop Course

Indiana Conservation Officer Joseph Tenbarge truly serves his community and the outdoor public in a variety of ways. An exemplary officer, Officer Tenbarge was recently recognized as the 2015 District 6 Officer of the Year as voted on by his peers as well as the District 6 Boating Officer of the Year.

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