2019 Northern Region Officer of the Year Winner

2019 Northern Region Officer of the Year Winner

Conservation Warden Paul Sickman, of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, has been named the 2019 Northern Region Officer of the Year.

Conservation Warden Sickman is an example of a well-rounded officer who effectively balances enforcement, education and community involvement. However, Sickman’s primary concern is ensuring that all boaters have a safe and enjoyable recreational boating experience while on the water. Sickman coordinates the Lower St. Croix River law enforcement meetings in an effort to facilitate collaboration and coordination between multiple law enforcement agencies. During the meetings, these law enforcement agencies address and resolve upcoming issues, coordinate efforts for events such as Operation Dry Water, and much more.

Conservation Warden Paul SickmanA few notable recent events that Conservation Warden Sickman has been involved in include finding a missing child on an island in the St. Croix River, retrieving two under-age, intoxicated swimmers as they attempted to swim to shore from an island late at night, and arresting an intoxicated, combative, and naked boater who entered the water in attempt to escape apprehension.

Conservation Warden Sickman was the lead investigator for a number of complex boating incidents in his career. This includes a 34’ cabin motorboat that involved a carbon monoxide event. This event was extremely difficult to manage as the location of the carbon monoxide leak could not be located. Another significant boating incident that Sickman handled was a large collision that resulted in criminal charges for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

Many would say that Conservation Warden Sickman is proactive in his work toward public education. Sickman is a frequent presenter at U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary boat safety education courses, in schools, at Rotary Clubs, and many other natural resource related events. Additionally, Sickman continues to go above and beyond by publishing a monthly column in local newspapers called "Warden Paul's Corner."

Conservation Warden Sickman is a NASBLA certified instructor for various courses including, but not limited to, the Level 1 Boat Accident Investigation, Boat Accident Reconstruction, SFST and BUI Detection, and Tactical Boat Operator. Sickman is certified through the National Safe Boating Council as a train-the-trainer and instructor for the Open-Water and Close Quarters Control courses. Furthermore, Sickman has recently obtained his USCG Captain’s license.

In addition to his fish and wildlife responsibilities, Sickman spends his boating hours focusing on public education, training, accident investigation and law enforcement activities. Sickman does an outstanding job assisting and partnering with local law enforcement agencies in the surrounding areas. For this reason, Conservation Warden Sickman and the Wisconsin DNR receive great cooperation and assistance from the law enforcement agencies in their area. Congratulations Conservation Warden Paul Sickman!

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 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 over 76 million American boaters.