BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division (LDWF) became the first agency in the U.S. to receive both state and national accreditation in the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) program.
According to NASBLA.org, 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.
"Agencies who choose to adopt this national standard of training can assure their ability to conduct missions on our nation’s waterways safely and effectively and operate seamlessly with their federal, state and local partners on the water," said John Fetterman, NASBLA's Director of Law Enforcement.
On Sept. 1, at NASBLA's Annual Conference in Milwaukee, LDWF was recognized as the first agency to receive national accreditation in the BOAT program. On Nov. 17, the Louisiana Peace Officers Standard and Training (POST) Council accepted the NASBLA training curriculum in the BOAT program. This action makes Louisiana the first state to adopt the BOAT program for all its marine law enforcement patrol officers.
The Louisiana POST Council is responsible for developing and evaluating the curriculum of mandatory basic training courses for municipal officers, deputy sheriffs, state police, LDWF agents and all other persons commissioned as peace officers defined by state law.
"Our goal was to be the first agency accredited with this new standard of training in the marine environment. We now shift our focus to training other law enforcement agencies so that we are all on the same page when it comes to securing the maritime domain and providing safety on the waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's Boating Law Administrator.
Through their partnership with NASBLA, LDWF will also offer BOAT program training courses for other state law enforcement entities in the near future. To help shape the course, LDWF is asking for feedback from the law enforcement community; specifically how many of their marine patrol officers need the training and what part of the BOAT program they are interested in taking.
For more information on the NASBLA BOAT program, please click here .