NASBLA names Game Warden Hani Raja Ataya the 2021 National Boating Officer of the Year

By Taylor Matsko posted 10-26-2021 04:52 PM

  

NASBLA names Game Warden Hani Raja Ataya the 2021 National Boating Officer of the Year

Texas Game Warden Hani Raja Ataya

The 2021 National Boating Officer of the Year award was presented to Texas Game Warden Hani Raja Ataya on Tuesday, September 28, at the awards ceremony during the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ (NASBLA) Annual Conference held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The National Boating Officer of the Year award recognizes a law enforcement officer who has made an outstanding contribution to boating safety through enforcement and has performed an outstanding service to the agency or state in any facet of recreational boating safety.

Texas Game Warden Hani Raja Ataya is stationed in Orange County, Texas, and regularly patrols all of its major waterbodies for recreational water safety enforcement. As a coastal warden, he has the added responsibility of patrolling the coastal marshes, bays, and the Gulf of Mexico for recreational and commercial fishing, shrimping, and crabbing activity throughout the year, which is much more demanding than traditionally seasonal recreational boating safety enforcement.

Game Warden Ataya’s patrol efforts for boating safety this year led Region 4, and most of the state, with an impressive 692 boat patrol hours. During those patrols he issued 129 written warnings and 72 citations explicitly for water safety violations, along with giving countless verbal warnings and advice about being safe on the water.

Additionally, Game Warden Ataya has become one of the most talented boating while intoxicated (BWI) investigators in the state. He spent the past couple of years seeking out training, asking for advice, and gaining valuable experience in all phases of the BWI investigation process including detection, blood warrant application, report writing, and successful prosecution. This year alone, he attended the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and Breath Test Operator courses.

Game Warden Ataya is a leader in the Beaumont District in BWI enforcement and routinely helps his partners by providing positive motivation, experience, and guidance to other less experienced wardens. This year he has served as a resource for his partners in the Beaumont District, as well as other districts within the region, to help with the completion of their American Law Reports (ALR) and other paperwork on BWI. Game Warden Ataya assisted with 11 BWI arrests this calendar year, seven of which he arrested and filed himself. The other four BWIs were filed by wardens who were riding along with Game Warden Ataya, and two of those cases were those respective Game Warden’s first BWI cases to investigate. Game Warden Ataya’s work ethic, thirst for knowledge, and sheer determination have led him to become an extremely successful and effective Texas Game Warden.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators congratulates Texas Game Warden Hani Raja Ataya on receiving the National Boating Officer of the Year award in recognition of his dedication, commitment and influence on recreational boating safety. To learn more about NASBLA's awards program visit www.nasbla.org/awards.

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The
National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) 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 nearly 85 million American boaters.

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