Sgt. Reggie Barker Honored as State Boating Officer of the Year

By / Fishing / Tuesday, 10 February 2015 05:00

Wildlife Officer Sgt. Reggie Barker with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been honored as North Carolina’s Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 2014. The prestigious award is presented annually by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and its regional partner, the Southern States Boating Law Administrators Association. The recipient must have demonstrably made outstanding contributions to the field of boating law enforcement.
Barker was recognized for his role in a dangerous nighttime rescue on the rain-swollen Cape Fear River, for which he also received the 2014 Governor’s Award for Excellence. A stranded kayaker likely would have drowned had not Barker and fellow officers acted decisively and quickly to reach him. Barker also was cited for his work as the incident commander for a week-long search-and-recovery effort on Jordan Lake for a missing boater. He coordinated different departments, conducted numerous media interviews and was responsible for communication with the victim’s family. The victim’s family complimented his professionalism and compassion during a difficult time.
Barker, a 23-year veteran with the Wildlife Commission, is stationed in Chatham County. He is a field sobriety test instructor for statewide law enforcement and teaches at the Wildlife Law Enforcement Academy. “Through his actions, Sgt. Barker has exemplified the mission and vision of the Wildlife Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement to provide for public safety,” said Maj. Chris Huebner, the state boating safety coordinator. North Carolina is a popular state for boating, with 5,000 miles of inland streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waterways. The Commission’s wildlife officers are responsible for enforcing boating regulations statewide. The public can assist wildlife officers by reporting boating violations to 1-800-662-7137.

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