The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division received the 2012 Compass Award at the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) annual conference from Sept. 8 to 12 in Mobile, Ala.
LDWF received the award for becoming the first agency in the United States to earn national accreditation in the Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) program administered by NASBLA and for continuing to set an example in leadership for its boating safety and waterway enforcement program.
NASBLA is a national nonprofit 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.
According to NASBLA.org, the Compass Award is a means of recognizing a NASBLA member agency for significant measures and leadership it has taken to develop a model of performance in a specific area. Receipt of this award identifies an agency whose program, effort, or initiative has truly enhanced the nation’s safety and security and one that has become a model for all to follow.
“Winning this award is a great achievement for our agency and acknowledges all of the hard work we put in to making Louisiana’s waterways safer for everyone to enjoy,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, Louisiana’s State Boating Law Administrator. “We feel that this new training program will allow our agency to train with others more efficiently, which will provide a great public safety services on our states waterways.”
The BOAT program establishes a national standard for the training and qualification of maritime law enforcement and rescue personnel. Adoption and implementation of the BOAT program provides a true national standard for the purpose of maritime interoperability at the federal, state and local levels. Standardization ensures maritime agencies can interact together and will bolster their ability to act as force multipliers nationwide.
The LDWF Enforcement Division is the first agency to implement the BOAT standard in all aspects of operations and training including cadet training at the academy level and training of partners throughout the state across all jurisdictions. The BOAT program will enhance LDWF's training plans in the areas of basic crewmember, boat operator for search and rescue and tactical operations.
The LDWF Enforcement Division is an active participant in Louisiana's Homeland Security Plan and represents the state in waterborne emergencies. Through the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, LDWF is the lead agency for search and rescue operations and maritime security.
As members of the Governor's Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Area Maritime Security Executive Steering Committee and all major port security committees within the state, LDWF Law Enforcement Division agents frequently respond to requests to deploy LDWF marine resources for security concerns.
The LDWF Enforcement Division's specialized training and equipment and its ability to operate throughout the state's vast maze of waterways and wild areas has complemented Louisiana's ability to respond to emergencies on the water.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 225-765-2465.