Conservation Officer Nick Wilson
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has selected Conservation Officer Nick Wilson, of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, as the recipient of its Officer of the Month Award for August 2017.
In the early afternoon of February 13, 2017, a 911 emergency dispatchers received a call from a man in distress who said he was attempting suicide by slitting his wrists and drinking a large amount of alcohol, as well as possibly ingesting a handful of pain pills. He was regretting his actions, apologizing and calling for help. Unfortunately, he was unable to provide his location to the dispatcher who sent out the Indianapolis Metro Police Department (IMPD) and several local fire departments in search of the man. His cell phone pinged off a tower near the White River on I-465.
As officers began combing the east side of the river, IMPD Officer Jack Tindall called Indiana Conservation Officer Nick Wilson, whom Tindall had worked with previously and was familiar with the area being searched. Conservation Officer Wilson immediately retrieved his all-terrain vehicle and headed to the area.
Meanwhile, the man calling for help remained on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, potentially going into shock with labored breathing. He managed to tell the dispatcher that he was “under the eagle’s nest.” Upon hearing the description, Conservation Officer Wilson remembered that an eagle’s nest was on the west side of the riverbank, not on the east side that was currently being searched. He was able to use his knowledge of the area to narrow his search for the man.
As the man was fighting for consciousness, he told the dispatcher that he could hear the sound of the ATV nearby. Nearly two hours after the man first called 911, Conservation Officer Wilson located him and tended to the multiple deep lacerations on his forearm by applying an emergency tourniquet.
Conservation Officer Wilson was able to keep the man conscious as he relayed information about his location to responding emergency units. The ATV was used to carry the man from the riverbank to a waiting ambulance. He was taken to a hospital and survived the ordeal.
“It is [my opinion] that if it weren’t for ICO Wilson’s willingness to help, immediate response, knowledge of the area and terrain, knowledge of his equipment, and his training, this situation could have easily ended very differently,” said Indianapolis Metro Police Department Officer Jack Tindall.
“Every day in this country, officers with diverse specialties work together to help those in need. This man was saved because the Indianapolis Metro Police Department thought to ask Conservation Officer Nick Wilson for help in an area that he had extreme knowledge of because of his field of work,” Memorial Fund President and CEO Craig W. Floyd said. “It is because of his knowledge and quick thinking when finding the man that we present him with the Officer of the Month Award for August 2017.”
Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
Conservation Officer Nick Wilson, along with the other Officer of the Month Award recipients for 2017, will be honored during National Police Week at a special awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in May 2018.
The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Program.