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NASBLA announces the 2022 Southern Region Officer of the Year award winner

By Taylor Matsko posted 07-19-2022 02:03 PM


NASBLA announces the 2022 Southern Region Officer of the Year award winner

Deputy Sheriff Daniel Williams

Deputy Sheriff Daniel Williams, of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), has been named the 2022 NASBLA 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 played an indispensable role in the success of the Marine Unit in 2021. He helped build upon the working relationships with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In 2018, the Marine Unit joined forces with the USCG Mobile Sector creating a force multiplier throughout the busy waterways of Okaloosa County. USCG Mobile Sector provided additional boarding officers to assist the Sheriff’s Office in its busy summertime “hot spots.” Deputy Williams continues to build upon this relationship and utilizes this opportunity to tackle additional challenges with the extra assistance.

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. Throughout the summer, many people are swept off of Crab Island due to the strong outgoing currents. During these times, Deputy Williams patterns his patrols to place him in a position to assist people that are swept into the deeper waters. In 2021, Deputy Williams pulled over 50 distressed swimmers from the waters encompassing Crab Island to safety.

In preparation for the 2021 boating season, the Marine Unit continued to set a goal of increased enforcement of boating under the influence. Deputy Williams’ dedication towards this unit goal resulted in a 48 percent unit increase in BUI arrests for 2021, 83 in 2021 compared to 56 in 2020. Recently, Deputy Williams was selected as the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) National Officer of the Month for November 2021 due to his BUI enforcement efforts.

Deputy Williams is a highly productive deputy who regularly receives compliments from the public. He can always be counted on by his supervision to handle high-priority assignments with a swift and successful resolution.

Deputy Williams is an asset to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and continues to surpass his previous accomplishments every year. He continues to be a model representation of a Deputy Sheriff and has proven himself as an agency top performer. Congratulations, Deputy Sheriff Daniel Williams!




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.