Author: NCWRC blogger/Tuesday, July 11, 2017/Categories: Boating, Law Enforcement
A wildlife enforcement officer with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the VIP for a VIP program were recognized this spring for their efforts in promoting safety on the water.
Master Officer Scott Strickland has been chosen as this year’s North Carolina National Association of State Boating Law Administrators Officer of the Year. Strickland, who patrols more than 500 miles of shoreline on Lake Norman, was nominated for his dedication to promoting boating safety in his community. In 2016, he assisted fellow officers with 48 boating citations, 88 warnings and 10 arrests for boating while impaired. He also presented boating education classes to the public and to a local police department.
Officer Strickland devotes much of his time to helping younger officers learn to detect violations and improve their knowledge of the state’s boating laws. He teaches swimming, boat operation and boating incident investigation in the Law Enforcement Division’s basic recruit school, and volunteers as a scuba diving instructor at North Carolina State University.
This is the third time that Officer Strickland has been selected as the District 7 Boating Officer of the Year. Through his dedication to wildlife law enforcement and his volunteer spirit, he continues to be a mentor to his fellow officers and a credit to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
VIP for a VIP Program
One of the Commission’s partners, the VIP for a VIP program, is the newest winner of the Award of Merit from the National Water Safety Congress. The mission of the program is to “bring the sight, sounds and smells of fatal accidents to the doorstep of high school students in a dramatic way in hopes of embedding the consequences of these often-senseless events into the minds of teenage drivers.” Representatives from the program, along with other volunteers from local entities such as police and fire departments, go to schools to speak to teenagers about the importance of safe driving habits.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission partnered with the program in 2010 with the intent to add a water safety component. The collaboration provided the Commission with opportunities to share safety messages with large groups of students. Members of the program worked with Lt. Matthew Long to create a public safety video showcasing a tragic accident involving teens on jet skis. The video is now used during VIP for a VIP programs and as a PSA during times of high boating activity.
The VIP for a VIP program is now delivered 40 times per year to an average of 25,000 students, doubling the number of contacts that can be made in traditional boating education courses. The program is delivered statewide and has reached 52 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Since its inception in 1998, the program has been delivered on 284 occasions to 177,584 teenagers.
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