2013 Ontario Conservation Officer of the Year

Aurora – The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) is pleased to announce that Dan VanExan has been selected as the 2013 Conservation Officer of the Year. Dan currently works for Peterborough Enforcement Unit and is based out of Belleville.

Dan was presented the OCOA award Saturday night at the annual OCOA banquet. “Dan has been a Conservation Officer almost 30 years and has had many great accomplishments during his career. He has been very involved in training Conservation Officers and has always considered teaching new and seasoned officers one of the most satisfying things he does every year” said OCOA President Joe McCambridge.

Dan VanExan has worked around the Province and some of his career highlights include:

  • A member of the Initial Use of Force Instructors group in 1986 that assisted with the development of the Use of Force training within the Ministry of Natural Resources.
  • Spent 2 weeks as part of an undercover operation investigating the commercialization of wildlife and night hunting.
  • Actively involved with the Ontario Conservation Officers Association since 1982 and Dan is the only person to hold the President position in two separate terms in the Association’s history.
  • Active member within his community holding positions on school councils, and different councils within his church.

While accepting the award Dan indicated “I have been fortunate throughout my career to work with many experienced officers and my involvement with the training program is something I always considered very gratifying. I always wanted to make sure that officers got home at the end of their shift and hope that some of the training we have provided over the years helped to ensure that”.

On Friday Dan was also presented with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) Officer of the Year award by Lois Deacon, Director MNR Enforcement Branch and Assistant Deputy Minister, Provincial Services Division Tracey Mill. Lois Deacon said, “over the years Dan has been a great influence over both new officers and seasoned and experienced officers through the training program”.

There were three other officers that were nominated for the 2013 Conservation Officer of the Year award:  Matt Brooks from Kenora, Mitch Phinney from Aurora and Bruce Tomlinson from Sault Ste. Marie. Officers are nominated for the award by their peers. The selection is done by a committee that consists of representatives of the OCOA and staff from MNR’s Enforcement Branch.

In addition, Dan also received the Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year Award and the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (part of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies) Officer of the Year Award.

For further information visit www.ocoa.ca or contact:

Joe McCambridge, President
Ontario Conservation Officers Association
(613) 732-2242