Texas Game Warden Recognized During November Commission Meeting

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AUSTIN – At Thursday’s Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting, Texas Game Warden Tyler Zaruba received recognition as the 2023 recipient of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Texas Boating Officer of the Year award.

“Tyler is constantly looking at best practices when it comes to keeping boaters safe on the public waters of the state,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Executive Director David Yoskowitz, Ph.D. “He never complains or turns down an opportunity to teach individuals or groups the importance of the TPWD mission and water safety, bringing unrivaled positivity to his team.”

“He is well deserving of this recognition,” continued Yoskowitz. “The department and I are proud of the work Tyler has done and continues to do as he serves and protects the citizens of Texas.”

Zaruba started with the agency in 2012 and, as a Harris County Game Warden, serves in one of the busiest districts in the state. In addition to his everyday duties as a conservation law enforcement officer, Zaruba is a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement instructor, Standardized Field Sobriety Test instructor and a Drug Recognition Expert.

NASBLA recognized Zaruba in 2019 as the Operation Dry Water Officer of the Year for his outstanding work in curbing the impacts of boating while intoxicated on Lake Conroe. He is also a member of the TPWD Law Enforcement Division Region 4, District 3 team nominated by the Harris County District Attorney’s office for the 2023 Mothers Against Drunk Driving Team award, which they won.

Over the course of his career, Zaruba has participated in the investigation of high-profile boating accidents on Lake Conroe and Clear Lake. He has also responded to multiple events on the San Jacinto River, Lake Houston and Buffalo Bayou to lead investigations or assist fellow first responders.

Yoskowitz noted fellow wardens often lean on Zaruba as a resource for report writing, video evidence, search warrant composition and execution, fingerprinting and navigating the complexities of the Harris County Jail.

“Tyler’s experience has enabled him to be an excellent mentor to his fellow wardens through his practice of leading by example,” said Col. Chad Jones, TPWD Law Enforcement Director. “We are pleased he is receiving this recognition and proud of his diligence in protecting the health and safety of those who enjoy our state waterways.”

NASBLA is a nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety, representing the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. They offer a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards, publications and more. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, they impact more than 85 million American boaters.