TWIN FALLS — Two Twin Falls County Sheriff officers received awards from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation for their efforts in keeping people safe while on the water.
The officers received this recognition earlier this morning in a surprise ceremony down at Centennial Waterfront Park. The recipients, Sgt Ken Mencl and Deputy Matthew Radmall were able to share this accomplishment alongside friends and family.
“These guys went out over the last couple of years, made thousands of public contacts, really really enforced boating safety, and promoted education," said Lt. Daron Brown of the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office. "So, it’s really an honor to have them recognized for that.”
Sgt. Mencl earned the Idaho Marine Officer of the Year award. To achieve this he conducted numerous boat inspections, issuing citations, and because of his involvement in several big recovery and rescue efforts. One involved a young man who attempted to kayak through Pillar Falls and drowned. However, due to Mencl and several other parties, the man was found and brought back to life.
“It takes a toll on you, and you have to find what drives you deep down, which is the safety of our community, and dig deep to keep coming out here day after day after day," Mencl said.
Deputy Radmall received the Idaho Boating Safety Educator of the Year award after educating local students about boat safety. His hard work, dedication, and effort while in the classroom increased boating education in the school district by over 400%.
“Working in the schools, like I do, all year long, you develop a relationship with these kids and so the opportunity to instill that safety aspect to them, it makes me feel better about what I’m doing out here,” said Radmall.
Lt. Brown, who received the Marine Officer of the Year award in 2008 was thrilled to see both officers getting recognized for their work.
"It’s great to see someone else from our agency to get that award, and for two people in our agency to get awarded the same year, that’s phenomenal,” Brown said.
While receiving recognition is a perk of the job both recipients acknowledged that the job goes beyond receiving awards.
“The greater part for me is really just being out here with the community. We have such great support from our community and that’s really enough for me,” said Radmall.
“We’re grateful for the recognition, but we’re going to come back out here again this year with some lofty goals to try and make contact with people and again keep people that use the waters in the state of Idaho safe,” Mencl said.