Both Marion County Wildlife Officers received awards reflecting their dedication to service within their community and beyond. Officer Russell Vandergriff received the Safari Club International, Chattanooga Chapter Tennessee Wildlife Officer of the Year Award and Officer Marty Griffith received the Gedeon D. Petit award presented by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.
Officer Vandergriff has served for over 30 years and was awarded for his excellence in wildlife and boating law enforcement. Officer Vandergriff interacts with countless boaters and sportsmen and women throughout the year providing information and answering questions. He responds to and investigates boating accidents and rescue operations in the county as well as teaches hunter safety and boating education. Officer Vandergriff attends numerous outreach events, helps in the collection of biological data and assists landowners.
“Officer Vandergriff is the definition of what a game warden should be,” stated Captain Jeff Bishop.
Officer Marty Griffith has served the agency for over15 years. He excels at presenting and upholding the TWRA mission. Officer Griffith is devoted to youth events and encouraging the next generation of sportsmen and women. He interacts with hundreds of adults and youth annually at various events in the county and beyond.
Captain Bishop said, “Officer Griffith doesn’t shy away from opportunities to engage the public, instead he views them as opportunities to promote TWRA and mentor youth.”
Both officers excel in their county and are widely known. Both have guided at Warrior hunts in Hamilton and VanBuren Counties, worked fishing events and supported the Sandhill Crane Festival in Meigs County to name a few of the many events attended yearly. Officer Vandergriff and Griffith assist wherever needed and support other officers and agency staff.
Find more about wildlife officers at tnwildlife.org.