FRANKFORT, Ky. – Six Kentucky State Park rangers were recognized Thursday for their excellent work and service during a ceremony in Frankfort.
Danny Quillen, a ranger based at Kingdom Come State Park in Harlan County, was honored as the overall “Ranger of the Year.” The other rangers honored represent various regions across the state. The other district winners are:
- Chad Campbell, assigned to Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park at Gilbertsville.
- Ron Thompson, who died in 2006, was awarded the honor posthumously. He was based at John James Audubon State Park in Henderson.
- Darrell Tomlinson, assigned to General Butler State Resort park at Carrollton.
- David Goode, who works at Green River Lake State Park near Campbellsville.
- Paul Evans, a ranger based at Yatesville Lake State Park near Louisa.
“These are the people who patrol our parks at all hours to make sure they’re safe for our guests and employees,” said Parks Commissioner J.T. Miller. “It’s an honor to be able to recognize these rangers for their contributions to our parks and their work ethic.”
A native of Lynch, Quillen, 37, has been a park ranger for seven years. He previously served as a police officer in Lynch and Cumberland. He represents the district covering Southeastern Kentucky.
Quillen has played an active role in educating the public about the black bears that populate the state park and the area. He has helped develop and hosted a training session for local law enforcement agencies on how to deal with black bears. Quillen has also worked to raise money for the Black Bear Festival and other park events.
“Ranger Quillen is a team player and is eager to help out in any way,” Sgt. Chris Early said in his nominating letter. “He has worked several special events this past year and has been helpful in giving advice to other rangers. You can depend on him to handle his responsibilities and help others if possible.”
Col. Joey Hoover, the director of the state park rangers, said supervisors recommend rangers for the honor based on criteria that includes job performance, handling of investigations, initiative, dealing with park employees and visitors, training and dependability.
There are 66 rangers working for the state park system. Each month, these rangers make 4,100 courtesy contacts with the public, assist 150 motorists, respond to 115 calls for assistance, and open 10 criminal cases.