2020 Regional Boating Officers of the Year Announced

By Taylor Matsko posted 06-22-2020 04:42 PM


NASBLA Announces Regional Boating Officers of the Year

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 22, 2020) - 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. This award symbolizes the highest level of achievement among boating law enforcement officers throughout the United States.

The selection process for this award began in January with NASBLA soliciting nominations from each state and territory to nominate their boating law enforcement officer of the year. Next, each regional association of boating law administrators chose one regional award recipient, making that officer eligible for consideration for the national award. The national award recipients are announced each year at the NASBLA Annual Conference during the Awards Ceremony. Based on much discussion between the NASBLA Executive Board and our members, the NASBLA Executive Board has made the decision to postpone the in-person conference that was to be held this year in Manchester, New Hampshire. NASBLA will instead be hosting a hybrid conference in 2020 that will be held virtually and, on a limited basis, in person in Lexington, Kentucky. Logistics regarding the recognition of the 2020 award winners will be announced as soon as they come available. Click here for more details on the 2020 NASBLA Annual Conference.
Trooper Chad Juenker
Trooper Chad Juenker, of the New York State Police (NYSP), has been named the 2020 Northern Region Officer of the Year. For the past 15 years, Trooper Juenker’s dedication to boating safety across New York State (NYS) has contributed significantly to the state’s overall effort to make the waterways safer for all boaters. Tpr. Juenker began his career in marine law enforcement in 2005 in western New York, patrolling Lake Erie, the Niagara River and the NYS Canal System. Tpr. Juenker is now responsible for the operation of department vessels to include a 36’ Munson, 19’ Whalers, 10’ Sea Doo personal watercraft and others. His versatility with field assignments and watercrafts has made him indispensable to the marine patrol unit of the NYSP. In 2019, Tpr. Juenker was tasked with creating and implementing a new in-service training program for the NYSP. The program involves all aspects of marine law enforcement, including both classroom and on-water training for all members assigned to the marine, scuba and Special Operations Response Team (SORT) details. It comes with no denial that Tpr. Juenker’s passion, dedication and commitment to preventing incidents and saving lives have been exemplary throughout his career and certainly reflect positively on the entire marine law enforcement community. Learn more about Trooper Chad Juenker’s accomplishments.
Corporal John Bunting
The 2020 Southern Region Officer of the Year award recipient is Corporal John Bunting with the Maryland Natural Resources Police. Corporal Bunting has been employed by the Maryland Natural Resources Police since 2011. Over the course of his career, Cpl. Bunting has always exemplified each of the agency's core values: courtesy, integrity, dedication and professionalism. In 2019, Cpl. Bunting made a total of 32 custodial arrests - 17 of which were for Boating Under the Influence (BUI). Recognizing the need for saturated boating safety patrols, Cpl. Bunting led the charge for the implementation of the agency's Boat Safe Program. The goal of this program is to prioritize education over enforcement to help generate a more positive response in regards to boating safety from the public. As a lifelong resident of Maryland, Cpl. Bunting’s knowledge of boating safety is second to none. His dedication, integrity, professionalism and courtesy to others are exemplified every day on the job. Many would say that Cpl. Bunting is truly making a difference in the recreational boating community. Find out more in the full press release about Cpl. John Bunting.

Sergeant Jared JonesSergeant Jared Jones, the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation, has been named the 2020 Western Region Officer of the Year. Since the beginning of his career, Sgt. Jones has been active in the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation’s law enforcement training programs. He has served as an instructor for various courses including firearms, defensive tactics, boating operation and tactics, and more. Sgt. Jones is a leader in BUI enforcement and arrests on the water. Not only is he focused on removing and eliminating impaired operators from Utah’s waterways, but he also focuses on educating boaters on the dangers of BUI and other safe boating practices. It is no doubt that Sgt. Jones has saved countless lives and prevented many injuries throughout the course of his career on Lake Powell and Flaming Gorge Reservoirs, and will be greatly missed upon his retirement in October 2020. Whether this was due to boating citations and arrests on the water, or the wealth of knowledge and insight he shared with his fellow officers, he has truly made a difference on Utah’s waterways. Read more about Sgt. Jared Jones’ achievements throughout his career.

Each of these law enforcement officers have contributed greatly to the safety on their state’s waterways. Their undeniable dedication, commitment and passion for boating safety has gone beyond the recreational boating community, but has spread within their law enforcement communities as well. These officers are the reason why millions of boaters across the nation are able to safely enjoy our waterways each year. NASBLA is pleased to have these three men representing the nation as the regional Officer of the Year recipients. Find out more about the regional winners of the 2020 Officer of the Year award.

First presented in 2000, the Marvin “Butch” Potts Memorial Award, known as the Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, is presented annually to the boating law enforcement officer who has made outstanding contributions to the field of boating law enforcement. The award program consists of three levels: state, regional and national.

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. We offer 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, we affect the lives of over 76 million American boaters.