DECEMBER 15, 2020: Operation Dry Water recognizes the 2020 Top Agency, Small Category
*This is a transcript of the "Operation Dry Water recognizes the 2020 Small Category, Top Agency Award winner" video from the virtual recognition ceremony on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020.
Welcome back to another NASBLA Virtual Awards recognition ceremony! I am grateful for the opportunity to present one of the 2020 Operation Dry Water awards today.
As many of you all know, the Operation Dry Water campaign typically recognizes all of its award winners in-person at the NASBLA Annual Conference. Unfortunately, we were not able to do so this year since the Conference was held virtually and only consisted of a brief awards ceremony on September 30th. Therefore, we have gathered here today to show our gratitude 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 Small Category, Top Agency Award goes to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Over the course of the three-day heightened awareness and enforcement weekend, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deployed three officers who made 18 boating under the influence arrests. Additionally, these officers made contact with 160 recreational boaters and issued 40 boating citations.
Since the commencement of the Operation Dry Water awards program in 2017, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has been named the ODW Small Category Top Agency for three of these years – 2017, 2019 and now again, in 2020.
We’d like to recognize and thank the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and its officers for their support and dedication to removing impaired boaters from the water. Congratulations to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department!
Now, I would like to give Corporal Travis Vessells the opportunity to say a few words…
Thank you, Darren.
On behalf of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, we really appreciate being recognized with the honor of receiving this award. Our philosophy is very simple. We achieve boating safety through enforcement.
Our guys go out and are very proactive in their enforcement. We conduct boat stops, and this gives us an opportunity to do two things: one is, educate the public on what they're doing wrong with boating. And the other thing is to spend some time with them and educate them, as well as check the operators, for any signs of being under the influence, to ensure that they're boating sober and safe.
I can't say enough about the two deputies that are next to me. Over here, is Deputy Eric Blackard, and to my right is Deputy Brian Weck. They were my fully assigned boat deputies to our unit last year and they do an outstanding job.
In our weather out here in the Mojave Desert, we had 60 straight days or 110 degree plus weather last summer. So it's extremely excruciating. And I'm sure just like everybody, everywhere, our waterways were impacted greatly because of COVID. We had numbers we'd never seen before on the water. So we are out there doing our best part to make sure everybody was boating safely.
Excellent. Thanks, Corporal Vessells. Outstanding job, great work!
So, again, NASBLA would like to thank the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for their continued commitment, not only to the Operation Dry Water campaign, but also to ensuring the safety of all boaters on California’s waterways. We also would like to thank the Department for their efforts to reduce the number of incidents and fatalities associated with drug and alcohol use on the water.
Again, congratulations guys. Well-done.
TRAVIS VESSELLS, BRIAN WECK & ERIC BLACKARD:
Watch the full 2020 Operation Dry Water Small Category Top Agency Award recognition video on NASBLA's Vimeo channel!