Sgt. Reid McNally honored as Western States Boating Officer of the Year
Posted May 3, 2018
McNally’s accomplishments include creating a renter boating safety video and partnership with a lifeguard company to increase boating safety on the Colorado River.
BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZ. — After being named as Arizona’s Boating Officer of the Year, Sgt. Reid McNally is also being honored as the Western States Boating Officer of the Year. McNally began his career in law enforcement in 1995 and recently retired after working for the Bullhead City Police Department for 20 years. He will be presented with the award during the Western States Boating Administrators Association conference on May 14-16, 2018, in Moab, Utah.
Water safety and education have always been important to McNally. Before he began his law enforcement career, he spent summers working as a lifeguard and a water safety/first aid and CPR instructor. During his law enforcement career, McNally was assigned to multiple specialty assignments. He served on the Bullhead City Police Department’s negotiations team and dive team, and worked as a driver instructor and field training officer.
“Sgt. McNally spent a great part of his career involved in water and boating safety,” said Bullhead City Police Department Chief Brian Williamson. “Sgt. McNally used his passion for water and boating safety to continually enhance the Bullhead City Police Department’s waterways operations, which aided in facilitating a safe environment for the residents and visitors of Bullhead City to enjoy a very busy section of the Colorado River.”
As the supervisor to the department’s water patrol unit, McNally realized that rental watercraft were directly involved in most of the collisions on the Colorado River. He worked closely with the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s education and law enforcement programs, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Nevada Department of Wildlife and local watercraft rental businesses to create an educational boating safety video that includes local waterway concerns and hazards in order to enhance the safety practices of operators of rental watercraft. In early 2017, McNally’s efforts led to the Bullhead City Council voting unanimously to adopt a city ordinance that requires people to watch a boating safety video prior to renting and operating watercraft on the Colorado River.
Other public safety innovations include the development of a partnership between the police department and a professional lifeguard company to increase boating safety on the Colorado River. The partnership placed two contract personal watercrafts with two ocean-trained lifeguards on the river during each weekend during summer 2017. Lifeguards also were added to police patrol boats, increasing the department’s public contact by engaging in accident prevention conversations with watercraft operators and users of the Colorado River. Due to McNally’s efforts, this program will likely be sustained by the department.
“Sgt. McNally dedicated a majority of his career to public safety, and there’s no doubt that his efforts have helped save lives and prevented boating incidents,” said Tim Baumgarten, boating law administrator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
As this year’s recipient of the Western States Boating Officer of the Year award, McNally is also nominated for the Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, which will be presented at the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ annual conference in September.