2018 Regional Boating Officers of the Year Announced
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 06, 2018) – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is pleased to announce the regional winners of the Butch Potts Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Candidates for this award have performed an outstanding service to their agency or state and have made significant contributions to recreational boating safety.
As a member of NASBLA, every state and territory is eligible to nominate their state‐level boating officer of the year to be considered for the regional and national boating officers of the year. The regional winners are invited to receive their awards at the NASBLA annual conference. The 2018 NASBLA annual conference will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana September 9‐12. The awards banquet will take place Tuesday, September 11th.
The Northern Region award recipient is Sergeant Guy Wendorf of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Throughout Sgt. Wendorf’s career his expertise, dedication, and commitment to the boating mission remains unmatched throughout the state of Indiana. Across the state, Sgt. Wendorf’s name is synonymous with anything attributed to boating. The eight years he served as a Reservist with the U.S. Coast Guard provided a foundational love and appreciation for serving the boating public. Sgt. Wendorf has built upon that foundation over the past 22 years and is routinely called upon for his expertise. In 2017, Sgt. Wendorf was instrumental in the implementation of a Radiological Nuclear Detection program for the Law Enforcement Division, served as a credentialed instructor for the NASBLA BOAT Program’s Boat Crew Members Course and Pursuit & Stop Courses, organized a District Sonar Team and trained the team in the use of the equipment. Sgt. Wendorf is passionate about educating officers in all facets of boats, boat operations, navigation, and application of boating laws. His passion, example, commitment and devotion to the mission exemplify the epitome of the responsibility and dedication of a Conservation Officer.
The Southern Region award recipient is Officer Juan Blanco with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Ofc. Blanco began doing volunteer work for FWC in 2010 and fell in love with the agency and it’s mission. In 2015 Ofc. Blanco was hired by the FWC. Ofc. Blanco has taken a leadership role in Boating Under the Influence (BUI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) enforcement within his assigned patrol area. Ofc. Blanco participated in all of the BUI saturation details in Miami-Dade County in 2017 and personally made over 25 arrests for BUI. He also assisted with multiple BUI investigations in which he mentored many officers in adequate BUI procedures. Ofc. Blanco’s work ethic has influenced his peers to understand the importance of public service and public relations. On a daily basis Ofc. Blanco prioritizes and is a strong believer in education. He has led and participated in over a dozen “Career Days” at local schools and is frequently called upon to assist in public outreach due to his passion to educate the public and reach the next generation. Ofc. Blanco has also been part of the state’s initiative to partner Big Brothers Big Sisters. The vision behind this partnership is to encourage not only positive relationships with Law Enforcement Officers and the community but also to educate the next generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and understand the importance of conservation. Ofc. Blanco is always the first Officer to volunteer for deployment and deployed immediately for Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria. After the catastrophic damage done by Irma, he was deployed to assist and kept a positive attitude and willingness to help although he had also been personally affected by hurricane Irma. Ofc. Blanco also volunteered to assist in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria.
The Western Region award recipient is Sergeant Reid McNally with the Bullhead City Police Department in Arizona. In 2004 he was detailed to the Community Oriented Policing/Special Problems Section whose primary responsibility was patrolling the Colorado River. In May 2015, Sgt. McNally was given the opportunity to directly supervise the Department’s Waterways Unit. He hit the ground running, determined to make the waters adjacent to Bullhead City safe for all to enjoy. Sgt. McNally quickly realized that rental watercraft were directly involved in most of the collisions on the Colorado River. Sgt. Reid worked closely with Arizona Game and Fish education and law enforcement programs and other organization to create a unique educational boating safety video in order to enhance the safety practices of operators of rental watercraft. Sgt. McNally spearheaded an effort to educate the Bullhead City Council of the public safety concerns on the Colorado River which led to the adoption of a city ordinance that required viewing of a boating safety video prior to renting and operating watercraft on the Colorado River for all businesses operating within the city limits. Sgt. McNally has spent a significant amount of his career working to enhance boating safety. There is no question that through Sgt. McNally’s efforts, lives have been saved and the numbers of boating incidents have been reduced due to his commitment to boating safety. His efforts clearly demonstrated the use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the concerns of public safety.
For more information on the Boating Officer of the Year Award, please visit www.nasbla.org/awards.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. NASBLA offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards, publications and more. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, NASBLA affects the lives of over 76 million American boaters.
Hannah Helsby, Communications Director,
National Association of State Boating Law Administrators