The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is pleased to recognize that Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO) Mark Sweppenhiser has been named 2021 Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for Pennsylvania by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
Sweppenhiser, a 22-year veteran of the PFBC, is assigned to Dauphin and Northumberland counties, a district that includes the Susquehanna River and lower Juniata River. During 2021, Sweppenhiser logged 538 hours of recreational boating law enforcement including 24 shifts aboard patrol boats. While on patrol, Sweppenhiser initiated 323 vessel boardings resulting in 62 criminal summary citations and 477 warnings. While participating in proactive Boating Under the Influence (BUI) enforcement, including during NASBLA’s annual Operation Dry Water detail throughout Independence Day weekend, Sweppenhiser arrested one watercraft operator for BUI and assisted fellow officers with three BUI arrests. Sweppenhiser investigated one recreational boating accident and assisted with two investigations in neighboring districts.
As part of education efforts within his district in 2021, Sweppenhiser instructed two public boating safety education courses. Five outreach programs conducted within local schools included education about boating, paddling, water safety, and the importance of wearing a life jacket.