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December 2001

Game Warden Lieutenant Michael R. Marshall

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of Game Warden Lieutenant Michael R. Marshall, as the December 2001 Officer of the Month. Lieutenant Marshall is currently assigned to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Growing up in rural Maine, Michael Marshall's love for nature and its wildlife came naturally. His interest in law enforcement began when, as an impressionable fourteen-year-old, he rode along with Maine game warden officers on field missions. Combining these two passions has served this 24-year veteran of the Maine Warden Service well. The Bureau of Warden Services, is the law enforcement division of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, whose officers have full police powers and statewide jurisdiction. With 127 sworn officers, the Warden Service is the second largest law enforcement agency in the state and with 14 officers having died in the line of duty, has the sad distinction of having lost more officers than any other law enforcement agency in Maine.

Mike Marshall graduated from Unity College (ME) in 1976 with an Associate of Arts and Science Degree in Wildlife Law Enforcement. His trail to lieutenant began as a park ranger at Reid State Park and within two years, Ranger Marshall was promoted to district game warden, Division "C", Grand Lake Stream Patrol. By 1981 Game Warden Marshall's primary duties involved the investigation and apprehension of those involved in the illegally snaring of deer. He developed and led "Operation Downeast," a statewide investigation involving nine individuals allegedly marketing illegal deer products. In 1986 he was promoted to game warden sergeant.

Over the next several years, Game Warden Marshall rewrote the state's fine waiver list, helped author the Warden Service's entry examinations and served on the Game Warden Hiring Board. He established a "Junior Warden Badge Sticker Program", designed to educate children on the importance of maintaining the state's pristine wildlife and fish environments. In 1997 Game Warden Marshall was promoted to lieutenant.

Mike Marshall is a man of strong faith. He was instrumental in establishing and supporting religious programs for the Maine Warden Service, including the Christian Law Enforcement Officer's (CLEO) non-denominational annual retreat, which provides an essential support system for the unique demands of police officers and their families.

Perhaps Lieutenant Marshall's most far reaching and critical undertakings have been his campaign to establish policies and protocols within the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife relating to line of duty deaths. Understanding the devastation experienced by the family of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, Lieutenant Marshall established a line of duty death "modus operandi" for his department. This new department-wide policy includes funeral protocol, support intervention, as well as an organizational booklet specifying death benefits for the family of a fallen officer. Lieutenant Marshall's concern for an officer's emotional well being and stress care management, particularly at the loss of a co-worker, was the impetus for his developing a critical incident stress debriefing team.

Lieutenant Marshall spearheaded safety campaign for children with support from McDonalds family restaurants and the Marine Patrol Officers. Game wardens issued "flotation citations" to children found properly wearing floatation devices while on the water. Over 6000 coupons for free desserts were given out. This campaign was so successful that in 1999, Lieutenant Marshall followed it up with a similar effort for the proper use of snowmobile helmets, with equally successful results.

Lieutenant Mike Marshall's contributions to wildlife and law enforcement have been positive and noteworthy over a 24-year career, blending his two passions together with outstanding results for the people of Maine. He is am member the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, and was the past Division Representative for the Maine Warden Service Association. Major Thomas A. Santaguida, Deputy Chief Game Warden considers Lieutenant Marshall the most honest person he knows. Major Santaguida states Mike "... is one of those rare people who has dedicated his life to a public service purpose. His only reward has been the satisfaction he gets from serving others." Colonel Timothy Peabody, the Maine Chief Warden sums up Lieutenant Marshall's impact on the state inland fisheries and wildlife by stating he is "…a leader in our agency. There is no more fair person. He has high moral values and effectively directs his administrative duties."