The Operation Dry Water Awards Program recognizes law enforcement officers and agencies that are making a positive impact on the recreational boating community through the deterrence of boating under the influence (BUI). These law enforcement officers and agencies participate in the national Operation Dry Water campaign and make a difference in recreational boating safety by raising awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence and by removing impaired operators from the nation’s waterways.
This year, the 2020 Operation Dry Water (ODW) award winners were recognized virtually at the NASBLA Annual Conference. The virtual awards ceremony took place on Wednesday, Sept. 30, where the ODW Officer of the Year, Top Agencies and Media Award winners were honored for their hard work and dedication to boating under the influence prevention and the Operation Dry Water campaign.
2020 ODW Officer of the Year, 5 BUI Arrests
The 2020 Operation Dry Water Officer of the Year is Conservation Officer Jarred Coffing from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. This award recognizes an officer’s work throughout the year in BUI prevention and enforcement, as well as their activity and BUI arrests from the Operation Dry Water weekend. Over the Operation Dry Water three-day weekend, Conservation Officer Jarred Coffing made five arrests for boating under the influence. Officer Coffing not only conducts thorough investigations, but also submits detailed and professional reports, resulting in convictions in nearly all of his cases. He is committed to making Indiana’s waterways a safe place for everyone in his area of responsibility. Officer Coffing’s passion for BUI prevention and his willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that boaters on the water are safe does not go unnoticed.
The 2020 Operation Dry Water Top Agency awards are based on officer participation and BUI arrests during the Operation Dry Water weekend and are broken down into three categories – small, medium and large.
2020 ODW Top Agency – Small, 18 BUI Arrests
This year’s Small Category Top Agency award is awarded to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department from the state of California. Over the course of the three-day heightened enforcement weekend, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deployed three officers and made 18 boating under the influence arrests. We’d like to recognize the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for their continued commitment to keeping our waterways safe by actively and thoroughly addressing boating under the influence throughout California.
2020 ODW Top Agency – Medium, 20 BUI Arrests
The Medium Category Top Agency award goes to the Illinois Conservation Police. During the three-day Operation Dry Water weekend, the Illinois Conservation Police deployed 70 officers and made 20 boating under the influence arrests. We’d like to thank the Illinois Conservation Police for their year-round dedication to BUI prevention and their efforts to make Illinois waters safer for their community.
2020 ODW Top Agency – Large, 59 BUI Arrests
The Large Category Top Agency award is presented 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 and made 59 boating under the influence arrests. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission continues to save lives on the water by removing impaired operators and educating boaters about the dangers of BUI and other boating safety hazards.
2020 ODW Media Award, Campaign Reached 3.2 Million on Social Media
The 2020 Operation Dry Water Media Award is presented to the First Coast Guard District’s Public Affairs Team. The Media Award recognizes an organization or agency that used media outreach platforms to promote awareness of the Operation Dry Water campaign and to make a difference in recreational boating safety by educating boaters and raising awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence on our nation’s waterways. The First Coast Guard District’s Public Affairs Team masterfully employed five social media platforms and provided input and support to 42 Facebook pages managed by subordinate units. The staff's creative and successful media outreach campaign reached 3.2 million people on social media, generating more than 71,000 engagements. Working closely with federal, state and local law-enforcement partners, the First District team engaged and informed the boating public on the dangers of boating under the influence, while emphasizing general boating safety.
NASBLA is pleased to recognize the 2020 Operation Dry Water award winners for their passion in BUI prevention and detection and their efforts in educating boaters on the dangers associated with BUI. Collaborating with agencies and organizations across the country allows the ODW campaign to have a much greater impact on the recreational boating community. Thank you to all of our participating agencies and partners for all you do both during Operation Dry Water weekend, and all throughout the year.
The 2021 Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend will take place nationwide, July 2 – 4, 2021.