Boating Officer of the Year

nominating: boating officer of the year

Nominations are open to all commissioned, certified or sworn peace officers authorized by the state to enforce the recreational boating safety laws of that state. Boating law administrators should nominate candidates who have made an outstanding contribution to boating safety through enforcement. A nominee should have performed an outstanding service to the agency or state in any facet of recreational boating safety including but not limited to enforcement, education, search and rescue, outreach, innovation, partnership, BUI enforcement, accident investigation, community service, and heroic action. Posthumous nominations are not eligible.

Three regional finalists will be chosen from among the state nominees and will win a paid trip to the NASBLA Annual Conference where the national boating officer of the year will be announced and recognized during the Awards Ceremony.

Nominations for this award must be submitted by a boating law administrator.

The nomination deadline for the Officer of the Year award was April 30, 2022. Nominations for 2022 are now closed.

View sample application.

National boating officer of the year selected

NASBLA is pleased to announce the regional winners of the Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. This award symbolizes the highest level of achievement among boating law enforcement officers in the U.S.

The selection process for this award began in January with NASBLA soliciting nominations for each state and territory 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 is announced during the NASBLA Annual Conference

National Winner 2022

Deputy Sheriff Daniel Williams

NASBLA presented its prestigious national Boating Officer of the Year award to Deputy Sheriff Daniel Williams with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO). NASBLA congratulates Deputy Sheriff Daniel Williams on receiving the National Boating Officer of the Year award in recognition of his dedication, commitment and impact on recreational boating safety.

Northern Region
Sergeant Brian Piernicky - NESergeant Brian Piernicky
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
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 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.

Sgt. Piernicky’s time and effort spent on the water has allowed the boating public to enjoy their water activities safely. His commitment to furthering his own knowledge and training, as well as that of his officers, has led to a decrease in the number of incidents observed and reported on Nebraska waterways. His passion for boating law enforcement does not go unnoticed. Congratulations, Sergeant Piernicky! Read the full press release

Southern Region

Deputy Sheriff Daniel Williams - FLDeputy Sheriff Daniel Williams
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO)

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 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! Read the full press release

Western Region

Game Warden Victor Jordan - NVGame Warden Victor Jordan
Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW)

Game Warden Victor Jordan, of the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), has been named the NASBLA 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. Considering his stellar effort in the field, Game Warden Jordan’s most impactful success in the boating program results from the training he diligently provides to game wardens and officers across Nevada. In 2021, Game Warden Jordan acted as a field training officer and instructor for newly hired game wardens, and through the NDOW in-house academy, he was a lead instructor in all boating disciplines.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife’s busiest boating region, the southern region, would not achieve the level of excellence it continually does without the steady presence of Game Warden Jordan. He continues to be a mentor to all of his fellow officers and is well-respected by the recreational boating community. Congratulations, Game Warden Victor Jordan!
Read the full press release

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.

2022 State Boating Officers of the Year

Northern Region

Officer Ryan Mihalyak, Connecticut

Corporal Timothy Koebel, Delaware

Officer Travis Graves, Iowa

Officer Joseph Tenbarge, Indiana

Officer Alex Hebert, Maine

EPO Stephen Kamb, Massachusetts

Game Warden Kylor Johnston, North Dakota

Sergeant Brian Piernicky, Nebraska

Officer Mark Sweppenhiser, Pennsylvania

Officer Joshua Bergeron, Rhode Island

Officer Matt Talbert, South Dakota

Warden Jason Swaney, Wisconsin

Southern Region

Corporal Bernie Soliz, Arkansas

Deputy Sheriff Daniel Williams, Florida

Game Warden Philip Stout, Georgia

MCO Jason Estes, Kentucky

Corporal John Miller, Louisiana

Officer Thomas Burt, Maryland

Trooper Tye DeCramer, Missouri

Corporal Kevin Howell, Mississippi

Officer Jacob Long, North Carolina

Officer David Holt, Tennessee

Game Warden Ben Echelson, Texas

Officer Shane Wilson, Virginia

Officer Jeremy Quinn, West Virginia

Western Region

Deputy Jonathan Traw, Idaho

Game Warden Sgt. Justin Hawkaluk, Montana

Game Warden Victor Jordan, Nevada

(Those in bold text are the regional boating officers of the year.)

Previous Recipients