Marine Police Dedicate New Maintenance Facility

The Alabama Marine Police recently dedicated the William B. Garner Alabama Marine Police Maintenance Facility in Montgomery. The new 6,000-square-foot building, located off of Fairground Road, will house boat maintenance personnel.

The maintenance crew moves to the building from an adjacent 1,800-square-foot building, which will now be used as storage. The new building contains many improvements: three bays with 15-foot doors; a restoration bay; special boat lifts; increased storage for parts; and office space for workers.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Barnett Lawley officially dedicated the facility to William B. Garner. A native of Etowah County, Garner began his service with the Marine Police Division in 1962. He moved up through the ranks and served as director of the division for 27 years. “We are here to pay tribute to a man who has dedicated his life to boating safety in the state of Alabama and the nation,” Lawley said as he presented a certificate of appreciation to Garner.

During his career Garner was instrumental in drafting legislation to require a boat operator’s license and increase penalties for operating under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This legislation has resulted in a reduction in boating fatalities in Alabama by over 40 percent. In 2000 Garner was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for boating safety by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators.

In receiving the building dedication honor, Garner expressed his appreciation for the people behind the scenes. “Regardless of how good a building is, it’s the people who are the ones who get the job done,” he said. “I am extremely proud of the laborers and mechanics for their hard work.”

Personnel who work in the maintenance facility include Kenny Chambliss, Jeffery Dickinson, Randy Roten and Decarus Barnes.

Marine Police personnel are responsible for patrolling the waters of the state, enforcing boating laws, registering boats, licensing boat operators, search and rescue, boating education and investigating boating related theft. Approximately 60 officers are employed by the Marine Police Division.

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Left to right: Jeffery Dickinson, Decarus Barnes, Randy Roten, and Kenny Chambliss, Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley, and William B. Garner.