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Okaloosa Man Is Florida’s Boating Officer Of The Year, Also Up For National Award

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recognized Officer Jarrod Molnar of Okaloosa County as its 2016 Boating Officer of the Year during a recent meeting.

An Okaloosa County man is this year’s Boating Officer of the Year in Florida and could soon hold the national title as well.

Major Richard Moore is the Boating and Waterways Section Leader of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. During a recent FWC meeting, he announced Jarrod Molnar as the 2016 Boating Officer of the Year.

“Always real pleased to be able to recognize folks that work for us that have done a great job. I’m here to present to you our 2016 Boating Officer of the Year and that is Officer Jarrod Molnar,” said Moore. “Officer Molnar has worked with FWC for four years and has been assigned to Okaloosa County. Boating’s in his blood. He’s been around boating on the waters since he was a young boy. His father was a licensed captain.”

Moore says Molnar has had an exemplary career with FWC. Just last year, he logged 786 hours of vessel patrol.

“When we start thinking about who our Boating Officer of the Year will be, we start pulling statistics and try to figure out what kind of efforts have they done in the past year,” Moore added. “He responded to 10 calls for service related to swimmers in distress or missing. He rescued 27 people from the water, due to   dangerous currents or tidal conditions. Unfortunately, of those, he had to deal with responding to locating and recovering two individuals who were unable to be saved, who had drowned.”

Molnar also serves as a field training officer, and Moore says he’s helped a lot in enforcing state laws regarding Boating Under the Influence.

And, Moore adds Molnar’s efforts are also getting nationally recognized. He’s up for the Boating Officer of the Year for the entire 20-state southern region of the U.S.

“He also has the unique honor of being selected as the regional Officer of the Year for those 20 states. And, therefore he will be accompanying me to the upcoming annual National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, which is NASBLA, where he’ll be officially recognized as one of those three regional officers of the year,” Moore continued. ”He’s currently competing for the National Boating Officer of the Year award, which will be announced at that conference.”

As for Molnar, he says he appreciates the title.

“It’s an honor, and I love being on the water, and I’ll continue to do everything I do,” said Molnar.

The conference where the national award will be presented is in September in Seattle, Washington.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.