PIERRE, S.D. – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators has named Austin Norton the 2019 Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year. Norton is a conservation officer for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and is stationed in Webster.
“Austin shows a genuine passion,” said Joe Keeton, GFP boating law administrator. “He has been willing to take on the extra responsibility, knowing it would require a lot of extra training, much of which would require him to be away from his duty station and family.”
Keeton noted that being a good boating officer takes dedication, discipline, and sacrifice.
“The hours worked are the hours when everyone else is out enjoying the lakes – weekends, evenings, and holidays. Austin has done a good job making himself available when the lakes are busy,” Keeton added.
About the Award: The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ (NASBLA) award is presented annually to the boating law enforcement officer who has made outstanding contributions to the field of boating law enforcement.
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 national award.
The South Dakota award was renamed to honor a previous recipient and GFP conservation officer, Brook Brown. Brown lost his battle with cancer during the summer of 2012 and was well known for his contributions to the state’s boating enforcement and education efforts.