Editor’s Note: The following press release was submitted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
The Boating Enforcement Officer of the year award is presented annually to an officer of the Division whose efforts in boating safety and boating safety enforcement are deemed to have contributed significantly to the safety of recreational boaters in Connecticut.
Officer Sean Buckley is a six-year veteran with the Division of State Environmental Conservation Police, currently assigned to the Southwest Sector of the Western District.
The Southwest sector contains Candlewood Lake, the largest inland water body in Connecticut with a surface area of 8.4 square miles and property including five different towns. Candlewood Lake has over 2,000 docks and 6,000 registered boats on the water. The majority of the shoreline contains single family homes as well as eleven marinas, shore-side restaurants and bars, and several public boat launches.
The EnCon Police Division is the primary law enforcement agency on Candlewood Lake responsible for boating enforcement. An EnCon Police Sergeant, EnCon Police Officer and two to three seasonal Special Conservation Officers are responsible for conducting the EnCon Police patrols and enforcement activity on the lake. To augment the EnCon Police boating patrols the Candlewood Lake Authority employs a seasonal lake patrol consisting of a number of part time Lake Patrol Officers. These lake patrol officers work under their own chain of command, however the EnCon Police Sergeant assigned to Candlewood Lake is also responsible for overall supervision of Lake Patrol Officer activities.
In 2011 Officer Buckley volunteered for the EnCon Police Officer assignment on Candlewood Lake. This assignment runs for the boating season from May through mid October. During the 2011 boating season Officer Buckley performed over 300 hours of dedicated boating patrols on the lake. In addition to enforcement of routine boating violations he made five arrests for boating under the influence (BUI). During an average year the EnCon Police routinely make between 5 to 10 BUI arrests statewide.
In June 2011 the Southwest Sector Sergeant retired from active duty and the Sergeant assigned to Candlewood Lake was reassigned from the lake to the sector. Officer Buckley was made an acting Sergeant and took over the responsibility of supervising the EnCon Police Special Conservation Officers and the Candlewood Lake Patrol Officers. In addition, he continued conducting boating enforcement patrols on the lake.
Officer Buckley’s positive attitude, drive and professionalism were demonstrated in his exceptionally high desire to ensure that the boating enforcement mission of the EnCon Police was successful on Candlewood Lake. As a result of his efforts enforcing boating laws, his BUI arrests, and his dedication to overseeing the division’s boating programs on this high profile state lake, Officer Sean Buckley is recognized as the recipient of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ Boating Officer of the year for 2012 for the state of Connecticut.