June 5, 2013
Captain Jeff Samuels
OSP Fish & Wildlilfe Division
Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
Recognized for his high level of initiative, strong work ethic and tenacity, a John Day-area Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish and Wildlife Division trooper received the Division's 2012 "Fish and Wildlife Division Trooper of the Year" award. Senior Trooper Marvin "Marv" Ritter was presented the award Friday, May 31, 2013, by Captain Jeff Samuels, OSP Fish and Wildlife Division Director, and his supervisors Sergeant Tim Brown and Lieutenant Don Wagner, during a presentation in front of his peers at the OSP Bend Area Command office.
This was the Division's seventh annual presentation of the award which is based on criteria including professionalism, work ethic, and dedication to the citizens and natural resources of our State. Nominations were received from around the state and reviewed by Regional and General Headquarters staff before the recipient was selected and announced.
Ritter, age 60, is a member of the Columbia Basin Team, consisting of a group of five sworn troopers and a sergeant stationed in Pendleton, Hermiston and John Day. Employed with OSP for 9 years, during the last seven years Ritter has been assigned in the Fish and Wildlife Division and is currently the only Fish and Wildlife trooper in the John Day area patrolling nearly 5,000 square miles.
During the presentation Ritter was commended by Captain Samuels for his continued excellence in efforts towards the protection of Oregon's citizens and natural resources. "Marv has consistently risen to the top and is a very skilled and accomplished investigator, generally working by himself in a remote work site" said Samuels.
East Region Fish and Wildlife Division Lieutenant Don Wagner praised Senior Trooper Ritter's ability to consistently maintain a high level of work while still finding time to mentor other officers.
"Marv still finds time to mentor fellow officers and share information with them that may at some point in their career save their lives. He is a valued patrol tactics and Marine Board drift (whitewater) instructor, annually training officers from multiple agencies," said Wagner.
During 2012 Senior Trooper Ritter was involved in many noteworthy wildlife investigations. In one such case, working from a tip regarding a potential unlawful elk hunting party in the Desolation Unit, Ritter investigated this large hunting group for loaning and borrowing elk tags. Through his tenacity and persistence Senior Trooper Ritter determined three members of the hunting party, who did not have elk tags, unlawfully hunted and killed three bull elk (a spike, a 3x5 and a 6x6 bull), while other members unlawfully loaned the hunters their elk tags to hide the illegal activity. Ritter cited three members for Taking Bull Elk without an Elk Tag and for Borrowing a Bull Elk Tag. The other three members were cited for Loaning a Bull Elk Tag, and the three bull elk and elk tags were seized as evidence.
In 2010, Ritter saved a 90-year old man from his partially submerged car in the John Day River where he reportedly had been in the water for over 30 minutes. At significant risk to his personal safety, Ritter put on a life jacket, tied a line to himself and entered the river's swollen waters where he performed a swift water rescue. As a result of his heroic actions, Ritter received the OSP "Harold R. Berg Lifesaving Award" and an Honorable Mention "TOP COPS" award from the National Association of Police Organizations.
During the award presentation, Ritter humbly accepted the award while his peers congratulated him; which goes to the character of this fine trooper.
The primary responsibility of the Fish and Wildlife Division is enforcement of fish, wildlife, and commercial fishing laws and protection of Oregon's natural resources and the habitats upon which they depend. As Fish and Wildlife Division officers are fully trained State Troopers; they also enforce traffic, criminal, boating, livestock, ATV, and environmental protection laws as well as respond to emergency situations.