According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW, a NDOW Game Warden Lieutenant in Las Vegas won the Officer of the Year award September 15 in Clearwater Beach, Florida from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), during that organization's annual conference.
Lieutenant David G. Pfiffner, 51, of North Las Vegas was given the honor for his more than 20 years of NDOW work in the Las Vegas area.
PFiffner was awarded for his contribution to boating safety on Lakes Mead and Mohave as the game warden supervisor and for his role in arresting drunken boaters.
"When Dave started we didn't even think about drunken boating," said Rob Buonamici, chief game warden at NDOW. "Dave built our Operating Under the Influence (OUI) program. He has personally arrested dozens of drunken boaters and worked towards reducing accidents. He is one of our most dedicated officers, and we are not at all surprised that he took top honors in the country this year."
The Officer of the Year award is given each year by NASBLA to one officer from the fifty states and four U.S. territories that make up NASBLA.
Officers are first picked by the States and then by region. The final pick is announced at an award ceremony at the yearly convention of NASBLA in front of representatives from every state across the nation.
"I was really surprised by this award," said Pfiffner. "The most important thing to remember is that this is a team award. I am honored, but it has to be shared with the other wardens who work every day in Nevada."
This is the first time that Nevada has taken this top honor.
It is no surprise that Pfiffner received the award, according to Buonamici, because of the growth in boating and the very unique challenges of boating safety and enforcement along the Colorado River System. "It's an extreme environment with all the law enforcement issues you would find in a town of fifty thousand people, only everyone is floating around or swimming. I think it would be a much less enjoyable boating experience for our public without Dave, and those like him, out there to serve and protect."
For information, call the Nevada Department of Wildlife at 688-1500 during regular business hours.