DECEMBER 15, 2020: Operation Dry Water recognizes the 2020 Large Category, Top Agency Award Winner
*This is a transcript of the "Operation Dry Water recognizes the 2020 Large Category Top Agency Award winner" video from the virtual recognition ceremony on Tuesday, December 8th, 2020.
Hello everyone! We hope you are all staying safe and healthy during these times. I feel honored to have the opportunity today to share some of the achievements of one of the 2020 Operation Dry Water Award winners. Since the 2020 NASBLA Annual Conference was held virtually this year, we were unable to recognize all of the award winners.
So, today, we are meeting again virtually to recognize and show our appreciation to one of the 2020 Operation Dry Water award winners!
The Operation Dry Water Awards Program recognizes law enforcement officers and agencies that are making a positive impact on boating under the influence (BUI) awareness and enforcement in their communities.
The top agency in each category (small, medium and large) is recognized nationally based on the number of BUI arrests made, divided by the number of officers deployed for the Operation Dry Water weekend. The agency with the highest percentage in each category is recognized.
The 2020 Operation Dry Water Large Category, Top Agency Award goes to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Over the course of the Operation Dry Water weekend, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission deployed 165 officers who made 59 boating under the influence arrests. Additionally, these officers made contact with 3,045 recreational boaters and issued nearly 370 boating citations.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has held the title as the ODW Large Category, Top Agency for the past four consecutive years. NASBLA cannot thank your officers enough for their continued commitment to the Operation Dry Water campaign.
So, to wrap this up, we’d like to recognize and thank your agency and officers for their devotion to keeping our waterways safe by actively and thoroughly addressing boating under the influence and removing impaired operators from the water. Congratulations to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission!
I would now like to give Major Ben Meyer the opportunity to say a few words…
Okay, thank you, Darren. I appreciate it, And I appreciate everything you just said.
One thing I would really like to add is that this is no doubt a team effort. I know you said we had 165 officers employed and I think that personifies what teamwork is. You know, just doing that from the mountains to the coast. We have water all across the state.
You know, this year, being a very unique year with COVID, our guidance to them was to focus on the violations that are really at a public safety standpoint, that, you know, that could really affect the public. And that's exactly what we did.
Our numbers overall were down as far as stops, as far as citations, because we tried to really not include a whole lot of unnecessary contact, but we did focus on impaired operation by boaters, which is in North Carolina, a huge problem.
And, as a result, even in a year like this, where we had to not check as many boats, we still stopped and arrested, and got a lot of impaired operators off the water. I just really, really re-iterate the fact that this was a team effort. It is vigorous and proactive boating law enforcement. You know, to gain compliance on the water and get those impaired operators, either by alcohol or drugs, off the water.
We had a lot of help from FTA, the BAT mobiles, and things like that during this time. But I really want to just make sure everybody understands that this was definitely a team effort, it is our officers’ hard work that makes this happen year after year, and I appreciate everything you said.
Thanks, Major. I know we have Colonel Jon Evans on the line. Colonel would you like to make any comments?
Sure, Darren. Thank you.
Before I give any comments, I wanted to give Major Philip Lucas an opportunity, if he had any comments, and if he's not having technical difficulties.
No, Colonel. Just echoing what Major Meyer said. This is absolutely a team effort by all of the officers, especially under the unique circumstances with COVID. But I'll leave it to you, and just echoing what Major Ben Meyer said, just a great team effort.
Okay, thank you, Philip. And sure, I'll be happy to close, Darren. I'd like to thank NASBLA for this award.
I think it's very interesting that I believe you said North Carolina's won it four times now, is that correct?
Well, we really appreciate the award, and as both of the Majors said, we've been able to achieve this through the sheer dedication of our officers, our impairment training and the way to detect impaired operation.
But, this is an award for every North Carolina Wildlife Officer and a thank you to them for keeping our waterways safe. And, again, thanks to NASBLA.
Excellent. Thank you, Jon, Philip and Ben.
So, finally NASBLA, again, would like to thank the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for continually putting in the time and effort to participate and really go the extra mile for the Operation Dry Water campaign. The hard work and dedication of your officers does not go unnoticed, and we truly appreciate all that you do to ensure the safety of all boaters throughout North Carolina.
Congratulations everybody! Excellent job. Thank you!
Thank you, Darren.
Thank you, Darren.
Watch the full 2020 Operation Dry Water Large Category, Top Agency Award recognition video on NASBLA's Vimeo channel!