Wildlife Officer Wins National Award
Dutton was selected among nominations from various federal, state, county and municipal law-enforcement agencies that are responsible for enforcing state boating laws.
The award is in recognition of outstanding public service, unmatched professionalism in marine law enforcement and personal commitment to ensuring safe and enjoyable recreational boating. The award is presented on behalf of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Southern States Boating Law Administrators Association.
Dutton was nominated by Capt. Mark Bruton of Rocky Mount for his enforcement effort for the 2005-2006 boating season, most of which was done on the Roanoke River and Gaston Lake in Halifax, Northampton and Warren counties before he was promoted in August 2005 to area supervisor for Moore, Richmond and Anson counties.
His achievements included an aggressive campaign to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related boating accidents by focusing on impaired operation and underage drinking and boating violations. His efforts included joint operation details with the State Alcohol Law Enforcement and State Highway Patrol.
Dutton was responsible for more than 45 impaired operation arrests, numerous narcotics and underage drinking arrests, among many other violations of the state boating laws. He worked countless hours on day and night patrol in his efforts to reach his objectives.
He has also championed an effort to ensure boating safety on a number of area Moore County lakes, where he has noticed a need for enforcement effort.
Dutton also attended the National Boating Accident Investigation and Analysis Course in Charleston S.C., offered by Underwriters Laboratories and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. He also instructed accident investigation in the district.
He investigated several boating accidents in which some involved fatalities. He was also involved in several search-and-rescue operations. One involved safely navigating to save lives of boaters who were involved in an overturned boat trapped in strong current, rocks and rising water.
Dutton also taught boating education courses and gave several public talks to local civic groups and associations such as Kiwanis, Rotary and Civitan clubs on the importance of boating safety and the role of the State Wildlife Enforcement Officer.
Dutton is a native of Moore County and has been a state wildlife and boating law enforcement officer for more than nine years.
He is a graduate of Pinecrest High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Appalachian State University.
He and his wife, the former Maggie Mann of Sanford, have a son, Colin, who is 3. They live in Foxfire.
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