Van Damme gets Exemplary Service Medal

Former Clearwater-based conservation officer was one of 10 to have been awarded Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medals

Kevin Van Damme steps onto a boardwalk with one of his cougar hounds. The former Clearwater-based conservation officer was recently awarded an Exemplary Service Medal.

Kevin Van Damme steps onto a boardwalk with one of his cougar hounds. The former Clearwater-based conservation officer was recently awarded an Exemplary Service Medal.

Former Clearwater-based conservation officer Kevin Van Damme was one of 10 members of the Conservation Officer Service to have been awarded Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medals recently by Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon.

An expert in predator attack investigations, Van Damme is a leader on the Conservation Officer Service predator attack team. As a conservation officer of over 20 years, Van Damme has worked in Surrey, Clearwater and currently serves in Kamloops. He is married with a young family.

In 2009 Van Damme was named the Outstanding Conservation Officer of the Year.

Even though he is now based out of Kamloops, Van Damme plans to live in Clearwater until his house sells.His fellow conservation officer Warren Chayer continues to work out of Clearwater.

The conservation officer who was chosen to fill Van Damme’s position was given the option of living in Clearwater or Kamloops, and he chose to live in Kamloops.There are presently five Field COs working the Thompson Fraser Zone, which includes the Clearwater, Kamloops and Lillooet regions.

The Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal recognizes peace officers who have completed 20 years of exemplary service with organizations that employ peace officers, including the Conservation Officer Service.

The Ministry of Environment’s Conservation Officer Service is the province’s primary responder to human-wildlife conflicts where there is a risk to public safety, conservation concerns or where significant property damage has occurred. In addition to regular uniformed members, the Conservation Officer Service’s Provincial Investigations Branch conducts large-scale industrial or commercial crime investigations.