NASBLA Announces the 2022 Regional Boating Officers of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 19, 2022) – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is excited to announce this year’s 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 recipient will be announced at the 62nd Annual NASBLA Conference during the awards ceremony held in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Sergeant Brian Piernicky, of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, has been named the 2022 Northern Region Officer of the Year. Sergeant Piernicky has overcome many challenges in his time with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. When he was first hired as a conservation officer, he could not swim and had never operated a boat before. Sgt. Piernicky took it upon himself to take swimming lessons and to practice boat operation, especially in the areas of boater contact and operation in rough water. He spent many hours training himself to be proficient in operating vessels in various conditions, including backing the trailer down the ramp. Sgt. Piernicky’s self-starter mentality is one of the reasons he was promoted to the position of sergeant. He has mastered boat operation and puts in more time on the water, each year, than any other officer in the district and would rank high in hours statewide. Find out more about Sergeant Brian Piernicky in the full press release.
Deputy Sheriff Daniel Williams, of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), has been named the 2022 Southern Region Officer of the Year. Deputy Williams has been employed with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office since April 2017 and is currently assigned to the Marine Unit. He consistently displays a strong work ethic and tackles new challenges with positivity and confidence. Deputy Williams is an aggressive law enforcement officer; however, he also demonstrates proper judgment in conducting his daily duties. Deputy Williams’ diligence in patrolling the waterways of Okaloosa County in 2021 was exemplary. He self-initiated 1,050 vessel stops and totaled 1,512 calls for service. During this time, Deputy Williams issued 131 citations and made 63 arrests, including 27 boating under the influence (BUI) arrests, the most ever by an OCSO Marine Deputy. He focused his efforts towards educating the boating public, only citing 13 percent of the violators he encountered. Additionally, Deputy Williams initiated over 60 logged calls for distressed boaters and swimmers. Learn more about Sergeant Deputy Sheriff Daniel Williams’ accomplishments.
Game Warden Victor Jordan, of the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), has been named the Western Region Officer of the Year for 2022. Game Warden Jordan has proven to be an extremely reliable officer for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. He spent most of his duty days patrolling the waterways of the Colorado River corridor in Southern Nevada, recognized as the busiest and most dangerous waterway in the state. His efforts resulted in multiple arrests for boating under the influence (BUI) on top of a multitude of citations, warnings, vessel collision investigations and motorboat, paddlecraft and swimmer rescues. Game Warden Jordan’s most notable save this year was when he and Game Warden Zachary Blackwood responded to a vessel explosion at a Lake Mead fuel dock and rescued two occupants from a burning boat. Had it not been for his quick and decisive action, the two occupants would have likely died on the burning vessel. Read more about Game Warden Victor Jordan’s achievements throughout his career.
Each of these law enforcement officers have contributed greatly to the safety of recreational boaters on their states’ waterways. Their undeniable commitment and dedication to boating safety has gone beyond the recreational boating community, but has spread within their law enforcement communities as well. NASBLA is pleased to have these three officers representing the nation as the regional Officer of the Year Award recipients.
All three regional award winners are invited to this year’s NASBLA Annual Conference. This year’s conference will take place from Sept. 27 – 30, 2022, in Manchester, New Hampshire. Regional awards will be presented at the awards luncheon during the conference. Additionally, the national Boating Officer of the Year Award winner will be announced at the banquet scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 29. Find out more about the regional winners of the 2022 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 (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.