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, incident 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 is March 31, 2024. Nominations for 2024 are now open!

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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 2023

Lieutenant Jason Russo
NASBLA presented its prestigious national Boating Officer of the Year award to Lieutenant Jason Russo with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). NASBLA congratulates Lieutenant Jason Russo on receiving the National Boating Officer of the Year award in recognition of his dedication, commitment and impact on recreational boating safety.

Northern Region
Conservation Officer Jarred Coffing - INConservation Officer Jarred Coffing
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer Jarred Coffing, of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Law Enforcement Division, has been named the 2023 NASBLA Northern Region Officer of the Year. Since day one of his service, Officer Coffing has displayed a steadfast passion for boating law enforcement, extending his vigilant patrols on our waterways throughout all four seasons of the year. His primary focus has consistently been to remove impaired operators from the water, striving to effectively reduce the number of impaired and reckless individuals endangering themselves and others. During the 2022 boating season, Officer Coffing arrested five impaired boat operators for boating while intoxicated. In the same period, he arrested 11 impaired operators of motor vehicles, enabling him to maintain his proficiency in field sobriety.

Officer Coffing's unwavering commitment to enhancing the safety of Indiana waterways is commendable. His relentless efforts undeniably contribute to the reduction of boat incidents, impaired operators, and drownings. Congratulations, Conservation Officer Jarred Coffing! Read the full press release

Southern Region

Lieutenant Jason Russo - LALieutenant Jason Russo
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Lieutenant Jason Russo, of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), has been named the 2023 NASBLA Southern Region Officer of the Year. With an impressive 21-year career in a coastal district, Lieutenant Russo has demonstrated continuous dedication to enforcing boating safety laws and educating the public. As a seasoned boating safety instructor for over 18 years, Lt. Russo continuously exhibits a genuine passion for educating individuals on safe boating practices. His extensive training includes successful completion of the FLETC Marine Patrol Officer's course, FLETC Marine Law Enforcement Training Program, NASBLA's Level I Boating Incident Investigation (BII) course, NASBLA's Level II BII Reconstruction course, and he serves as an instructor for NASBLA’s Level I BII course and it’s Officer Water Survival course.

Lt. Russo's unwavering commitment to enforcing boating safety laws and his extensive expertise in the field have earned him this well-deserved recognition. His extensive experience, leadership, and dedication serve as an inspiration to his colleagues and the boating community at large. Congratulations, Lieutenant Jason Russo! Read the full press release

Western Region

Deputy Charles Trescher - AZDeputy Charles Trescher
Mohave County Sheriff's Office

Deputy Charles Trescher, of the Mohave County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), has been named the NASBLA Western Region Officer of the Year for 2023. Deputy Trescher has been part of the Mohave County Sheriff's Office Division of Boating Safety and the Dive Rescue and Recovery Team since 2020. He serves the boating communities of Lake Havasu, Lake Mead, and the Colorado River, some of the busiest inland bodies of water in the nation. Deputy Trescher's extensive qualifications include serving as a Patrol Boat Operator, a Rescue Diver, and a Dive Team Leader, among other certifications. His wealth of knowledge and expertise make him a trusted source of guidance and advice for fellow deputies within the Division.

Deputy Trescher is an invaluable asset to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office. His unwavering commitment and immense pride in his position contribute to the safety of the waterways in Mohave County, San Bernardino County, and Clark County. Congratulations, Deputy Charles Trescher!
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.

2023 State Boating Officers of the Year

Northern Region

Corporal Kyle Wharton, Delaware

Conservation Police Officer Austin Priest, Illinois

Conservation Officer Jarred Coffing, Indiana

Conservation Officer Aaron Johnson, Iowa

Sergeant Carleton Richardson, Maine

Officer Dustin Burroughs, Massachusetts

Conservation Officer Brice Vollbrecht, Minnesota

Sergeant Cory Krause, Nebraska

Deputy Luke Bickford, New York

Game Warden Michael Sedlacek, North Dakota

Waterways Conservation Officer Kyle Robinson, Pennsylvania

Officer Anthony Sullivan, Rhode Island

Conservation Officer Blake Swanson, South Dakota

Southern Region

Corporal Lyndle Crownover, Arkansas

Corporal Tyler Lewis, Georgia

Officer Michael Pritchard, Kentucky

Lieutenant Jason Russo, Louisiana

Officer Brendan Ryan, Maryland

Corporal Jason Hurt, Missouri

Master Officer Ryan Biggerstaff, North Carolina

Wildlife Officer Matt Howard, Tennessee

Game Warden Tyler Zaruba, Texas

Conservation Police Officer First Class Tyler Routo, Virginia

Officer Zackery France, West Virginia

Western Region

Trooper Colin Nemec, Alaska

Deputy Charles Trescher, Arizona

Officer Tappan Brown, Colorado

Chief Deputy Mike Gladhart, Idaho

Game Warden Colbe Austin, Kansas

Game Warden Hunter Parrish, Nevada

Marine Enforcement Supervisor Leigh Kirkeeide, New Mexico

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


Previous Recipients