Conservation officers in St. Clair, Manistee counties honored for lifesaving efforts

Contact: : Lt. Todd Szyska, 313-396-6890
Agency: Natural Resources

Aug. 9, 2019

Conservation Officers Ben Lasher and Steve Converse received the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Lifesaving Award at Thursday’s meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in Lansing. Converse and Lasher are credited with saving the life of a 25-year-old Detroit woman who, in December, threatened to jump off the MacArthur Bridge at Belle Isle.

“Often the first emergency responders to arrive at a scene, conservation officers have received training in a variety of areas – more than just natural resources and game enforcement,” said Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “The diversity of their training is unique in law enforcement. Conservation officers are prepared with the skills and tools to manage almost any situation. I’m honored to recognize these two officers who helped a young woman during a difficult time.”

At the time of the encounter, the woman was suffering from postpartum depression. Converse and Lasher were able to talk to the woman, calming her down. She voluntarily told the two officers that she would like to seek medical attention.

Lasher has served as a conservation officer since 1996 and serves St. Clair County. Converse works in Manistee County and has been a conservation officer since 2000.
Conservation officers and Michigan State Police conduct joint patrols on Belle Isle, ensuring the safety of those enjoying the island.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Read more at


Conservation Officer Ben Lasher: Conservation Officer Ben Lasher has been with the DNR Law Enforcement Division since 1996 and works in St. Clair County.

Conservation Officer Steven Converse: Conservation Officer Steven Converse has been a conservation officer with the DNR Law Enforcement Division since 2000 and works in Manistee County.