Illinois Conservation Police Name CPO Marc Folden Officer of the Year

Ed Cross
Illinois Conservation Police Name CPO Marc Folden Officer of the Year
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and IDNR Conservation Police this week recognized officers for outstanding efforts protecting the public during the past year, including the presentation of Conservation Police Officer (CPO) Marc Folden as Illinois Conservation Police Officer of the Year.

CPO Folden, a resident of McLeansboro, is a 15-year veteran of the IDNR Conservation Police and is based in Hamilton County in southern Illinois.

“Our officers with the Illinois Conservation Police are the best-trained, hardest working law enforcement officers in the state – and we appreciate everything they do to enhance the safety of all Illinoisans,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. “Congratulations to CPO Folden and all of this year’s award recipients for their exemplary work.”

“CPO Folden is well known among our officers and our law enforcement colleagues from other agencies for his exceptional work ethic, and his rapport with the public,” said IDNR Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez.  “He and all of our officers are committed to ensuring public safety in our parks and on our waterways, enforcing wildlife and fish laws and regulations, enforcing traffic, drug and environmental laws, and often being the first responders for disaster relief and rescue efforts throughout the state.”

During 2017, Officer of the Year Folden wrote nearly 300 citations and warnings for offenses involving boating, fish and game violations, park infractions, and driving vehicles or operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  He also volunteers as a firearms instructor, NARCAN instructor, and Field Training Officer. 

Illinois Conservation Police Officer of the Year award winners are selected based on a variety of factors, including job knowledge, skills and judgment; dedication and professionalism in investigation and follow-through on cases; and, cooperation with other officers, agencies and constituency groups.
Other Officer of the Year nominees were CPO Matt Viverito (DeWitt County), CPO Robert “Leo” Finn (Putnam County), CPO Daniel Greuel (Shelby County), and CPO Zachary French (Madison County).

IDNR Conservation Police also presented a number of other awards to officers and law enforcement staff for outstanding performance in 2017.

Medal of Valor:  CPO Shane Teas (Ogle County).

Awards of Merit:  CPO Steve Beltran (Ogle County); CPO Tim Buhnerkempe (Wayne County); CPO Robert “Leo” Finn (Putnam County); CPO Suzanne Klemme (Cook County); CPO Nathan Murry (DeKalb County); Sgt. Eric Myers (Region 4); and, CPO Holly Vadbunker (Kankakee County).

Certificates of Merit:  CPO Michael Filipiak (La Salle County); CPO Troy Lazzell (Peoria County); CPO Jeff Rolfingsmeier (St. Clair County); CPO Brian Tapley (Clinton County); CPO Brad Thompson (Fulton County); CPO Nathan Murry (DeKalb County); CPO Troy Williams (Franklin County); CPO Matt Graden (McLean County); CPO Aaron Jansen (La Salle County); CPO Audrey Jones (Jo Daviess County); Capt. Laura Petreikis (Region 1); CPO Nicholas Reid (Will County); CPO Shane Teas (Ogle County); CPO Seth Thornley (Cook County); and, Melinda Zellers (IDNR Safety Education).
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