SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following successful education and enforcement actions during the three-day 2020 Fourth of July holiday, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police Officers (CPOs) have been named top mid-sized agency in the Operation Dry Water program by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

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“Our Conservation Police spend entire days on the water in the summer, speaking with boaters, checking safety equipment and watching for and enforcing Operating Under the Influence (OUI) laws,” said Colleen Callahan, director, IDNR. “They work tirelessly, regardless of the awards received. Still, we’re extremely proud of their achievements this year – and every year.”

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The Operation Dry Water program recognizes law enforcement officers and agencies which are making a positive impact on the recreational boating community through the deterrence of boating under the influence. IDNR Conservation Police participate in the program annually, which observes heightened enforcement each year over the July 4th holiday.

During the 2020 enforcement weekend, IDNR CPOs contacted more than 1,300 vessels, engaging with more than 4,000 boaters. Additionally, they issued more than 350 written warnings and more than 125 citations. Most importantly, CPOs made 20 OUI arrests on Illinois waterways during the three-day holiday weekend.

“I commend our officers for what they accomplished during this year’s Operation Dry Water program,” said Timothy Tyler, director, IDNR Office of Law Enforcement. “Finding the right blend of education and enforcement – especially while people are recreating – is difficult, but our officers do it extremely well and this award shows that.”

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