Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer Justin Miller turns up the speed on the patrol boat he is operating. The vessel is soon zipping through the water on the East Bay River on a mild, sun-splashed Friday morning in late October.
Very few fishermen are out, but Miller spots a small yellow boat off in the distance and soon slows down in order to pull up next to it.
In many instances, this is how an FWC officer does his job.
The interaction is casual and most of the time it leads to nothing more than making sure a license is up to date and safety precautions are being followed.
“To a certain degree, with us, we’re checking people while they are recreating,” Miller said. “Our main goal is public safety, whether it’s out on the water or on land.”
The check with the fishermen turns out to be routine. Miller looks over the license and then reminds him to put on his inflatable life vest.
Even though the stop was routine, Miller said he is always looking to make sure nothing is off. In this case, it puts a spotlight on one of the reasons he loves his job so much.
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