Conservation Officer Thomas Jay Deniston

Conservation Officer Thomas Jay Deniston

Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana

End of Watch Tuesday, October 16, 1990

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Thomas Jay Deniston

Conservation Officer Thomas Deniston was killed in an aircraft accident at Smith Field near State Road 3 and Interstate 69 in Allen County.

Conservation Officer Deniston was traveling in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk when the aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff. The plane became engulfed in flames upon impact and was nearly completely destroyed. The pilot who was a dispatcher, and a jail officer, both of the Whitley County Sheriff's Department and off duty were also killed in the crash. Conservation Officer Deniston was investigating deer being hunted illegally and had planned on photographing duck blinds and possible waterfowl bating.

Conservation Officer Deniston had served with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for two years and was a US Air Force veteran. He was survived by his wife, four sisters, two brothers and parents.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 18
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

Tom and I met in 1983 when we went through Security Police Training and they called us to one of the movie theaters and I allowed Tom to cut in front of me as I was number 4 in line to interview to be k-9.

We found out that we both got selected as K-9 Instructors and Medina Air Base was our first assignment! Then after two years living in San Antonio was both got orders to the Philippines! After a year in half Tom got us duty assignment of Indiana since he was a Hoosier! I got SAC hdqrs in Offutt AFB Nebraska.

I then ran into Toms former kennel master Ken Lider! I can’t lie I cried as Tom was a dear friend and salt of the earth!

Prayers to his wife Susan and Toms parents and family!

God Bless All!

Allen Speed
Retired USAF Special Agent Superintendent
Retired Fort Worth Police Officer

Superintendent (MSgt)

February 12, 2022

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