Joe Keeton, a Game, Fish and Parks Department conservation officer serving the Pennington County area, has been named the 2013 Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year for South Dakota by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
“When it comes to boating, Keeton is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable conservation officers in the state and has proven to be a huge asset to both the department and the public he serves,” said Brandon Gust, GFP boating law administrator.
Keeton serves as a boating enforcement instructor for the department, doing his part to teach other officers what he has learned over the years. He has also spearheaded boating education efforts for the public by introducing one of the state’s first classroom-based boating education courses offered at the Outdoor Campus West.
Gust acknowledged that Keeton has always exceled in his boating enforcement efforts and said Keeton makes hundreds of personal contacts each year with boaters to ensure they are meeting safety requirements.
“Maintaining the safe use of our great water resources is an important part of every conservation officer’s work, especially during the summer,” Gust said. “Keeton’s outstanding work well represents the efforts of our officers to preserve public safety.”
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ award is presented annually to the boating law enforcement officer who has made outstanding contributions to the field of boating law enforcement. The South Dakota award was renamed in honor of the 2012 recipient, conservation officer Brook Brown, who lost his battle with cancer last summer and was well-known for his contributions to the state’s boating enforcement and education efforts.
The awards program consists of three levels: state, regional and national. State nominees are selected by the state boating law administrator. State nominees continue to regional competition, where they are reviewed, and one winner per region is selected by the three regional awards committees. Regional award winners are submitted to NASBLA’s Awards Committee for review and selection of the recipient of the national award.
Logo courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks