Conservation officer, Columbus native honored for leadership

Indiana Conservation Officer Capt. Zach Mathews, a native of Columbus, has been selected by the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police as the 2016 Police Executive Leadership Academy Leader’s Leader Award.

Mathews was hired as an Indiana conservation officer in 1998 and was assigned to Bartholomew County. He was promoted to detective sergeant in 2003 and to captain of investigations in 2005, and was placed in command of the training section in 2011.

He completed the academy in 2016 and received accolades from academy facilitator Neil Moore for his classroom contributions and leadership perspectives.

“Capt. Mathews is one of the superior police leaders in Indiana at this time and a great role model for any police agency,” Moore said. “Capt. Mathews is exploring leadership principles from such diverse places as the Disney Corporation, Chick-fil-A and several other private sector organizations with an eye toward applying those principles in a policing environment.”

Mathews will be presented with the award at the academy’s graduation and awards ceremony Jan. 25 at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Indianapolis.

“It is an honor for Indiana conservation officers and the DNR law enforcement division to receive recognition for the police leadership role our officers and staff have achieved,” said Danny L. East, DNR law enforcement division director. “Captain Mathews is an outstanding example to his colleagues and to police agencies across the state.”