Conservation officer honored with American Legion Law Enforcement Officer of the Year awards

By The Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan Conservation Officer Jeff Ginn was presented with two plaques at today’s meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission honoring him as Michigan and Central Region American Legion Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic delayed the in-person presentation of the plaques to Ginn before the commission.

Ginn, who patrols Newaygo County, was nominated for the American Legion, Department of Michigan award by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division. A former firefighter and state trooper, Ginn is the first DNR conservation officer selected for the honor.

“Jeff Ginn exemplifies the professionalism of our well-trained conservation officers, who serve the communities they live in every day,” said Gary Hagler, chief of the DNR Law Enforcement Division. “Ready for duty at any time and called upon for a wide range of diverse activities at a moment’s notice, our conservation officers are outstanding.”

Ginn was selected for the American Legion Department of Michigan award from among the more than 18,000 law enforcement officers in the state.

The award recognizes “a well-rounded Michigan law enforcement officer, who has exceeded, above and beyond, the duty requirements expected of their position and has demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service coupled with professional achievement.”

After his state American Legion award win, Ginn was then placed in nomination for the legion’s central region officer award, which he also won.

The plaques for both awards were presented to CO Ginn today by Michigan legion representatives, including American Legion State Commander Richard T. Dubay, State Adjutant Ron Runyan and State Law and Order Chairwoman Sarah Eisenhardt.

“We are very proud to present these plaques to Officer Ginn,” Dubay said. “He has demonstrated courage and heroism and is a great recipient for these prestigious American Legion awards.”

Since beginning his career with the DNR in 2006, CO Ginn has saved five people and has received four DNR Lifesaving Awards. In 2019, he was featured on the CNN series “Beyond the Call of Duty.”

Ginn has created a boating safety lifejacket program, now in its seventh year, that he implements during his patrols on the Muskegon River. Ginn has solicited lifejacket donations from local businesses. He loans the lifejackets to boaters he contacts on the river who are without them, educating boaters about the importance of wearing a lifejacket.

Find out more information about the American Legion Department of Michigan Law Officer of the Year Award.


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