Board of Directors

President - James Gordon
CBSOA President James Gordon is an Oakland Police Officer and a 28 year veteran. He is assigned to the Port of Oakland Marine Unit and has been on the water since 2003. Jim has extensive experience in port security. Jim is a certified Tactical Coxswain, and is certified as an instructor for close quarters boat handling. Jim also teaches accident investigation

Vice President - Brian Miller
Deputy Brian Miller grew up in Kansas City (Kansas City Royals and Chiefs fan) and moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1988. Brian finished his enlistment as an aviation electronic technician in April 1994 with the United States Navy at Naval Air Station Alameda, CA. Hired on by the Solano County Sheriff’s Office in January 1995, Brian has worked many assignments. These positions include the street Patrol Division, Investigations Unit, the Coroner’s Investigations Office, Court Services Bureau, and currently the Marine Patrol Division and Dive Team Coordinator position for the Solano County OES Dive Team.

Brian is a NASBLA certified tactical coxswain, and Solano County Marine Patrol training officer. Brian also teaches for the Division of Boating and Waterways and assists within the Inland Boat Operator Course. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University Sacramento, and two Associates Degrees from Solano Community College in General Education. Brian has been a member of the CBSOA since 2010 and served as the Director at Large in 2015.  

Brian has been instrumental with organizing and bringing about changes in the Sacramento Delta region of Northern California with numerous multi-agency boat training events, operational cooperation, public boating safety awareness, and USCG multi-agency training exercises. He has led the process as a program manager with numerous state and federal grant opportunities, which resulted in Solano County receiving much needed vessels and new equipment.

Brian is proud to support the CBSOA and serve as the Vice President.  

Secretary - Laura Dodd
Laura is a Marine Accident Investigator and co-owner of Marine Accident Investigation. Laura started as a Collection Officer for the District Attorney’s Office in 1974. She was a Marine Patrol Officer for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years. She has worked patrol in contract cities and detention before retiring to Arizona. She has been a member of the CBSOA since 1990 and served on the Board of Directors since 1995 as Secretary. She has taken numerous courses in marine related subjects and is certified by the California Department of Boating Waterways as a Marine Accident Investigator.

Treasurer - Wes Dodd
Wes is a Marine Investigator and Owner of Marine Accident Investigation since 1999. Wes holds an AA Degree in Criminal Justice, and a BA Degree in Public Administration. He has completed over 1,900 course hours in Marine Accident Investigation and other marine-related subjects. Since 1993, Wes has taught Boat Accident Investigation and Advanced Boat Reconstruction for the California Department of Boating and Waterways.

Wes is a retired Deputy Sheriff with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, having served 33 years. He was assigned to many divisions including detention, investigation, civil, patrol, contract cities and marine patrol. His last 17 years he was assigned to marine patrol where he investigated over 625 boating accidents that occurred on the Delta.

Wes is a United States Marine Corp Veteran, serving with the Third Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.

Wes has been a member of the CBSOA since 1982 and on the Board of Directors since 1990. He has held the positions of Central Director, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President and President. He has been Treasurer since 1995.

Executive Director - Captain Jeff Gunn

Jeff Gunn has been involved in maritime safety for over 40 years, and is dedicated to the safety and education of both recreational and occupational boaters.

Jeff retired from an extremely rewarding 31 year career in the United States Coast Guard in 2002. He served his last 14 years in southern California waters. Jeff has an extensive background in boat and ship piloting and navigation, maritime law enforcement, search and rescue operations including first aid, firefighting and damage control.

Captain Gunn now balances his time skippering yachts and charter boats, and teaching. He is an instructor at the Maritime Institute in San Diego, teaching professional mariner courses. Jeff was an instructor for the California Department of Boating and Waterways for six years, and taught the Basic Boating and Enforcement, and PWC for Law Enforcement courses.

Jeff continues his service to the Coast Guard as a member of the Auxiliary. He was appointed branch chief on the national operations staff, and was in charge of the personal watercraft and paddle craft programs nationwide. Jeff is an active member of the National Safe Boating Council as a master instructor trainer and member of the training and education committee. Jeff has been a member of the California Boating Safety Officers Association since 1995 and served as southern regional director, director at large, vice president and president. He was a charter member of the Colorado River Boating Safety Task Force.

Jeff was awarded a Letter of Commendation in 2006, from the National Water Safety Congress for his accomplishments and contributions to boating safety.

Director at Large – Jennifer Spearal
Corporal Jennifer Spearel grew up on the east coast and has extensive experience in recreational sailing. She moved to San Diego in 1996 and worked at the San Diego Maritime Museum where she had the unique opportunity to sail aboard the historical sailing vessel The Star of India.

Jennifer has been employed as an officer with the San Diego Harbor Police since 2002. In addition to patrol duties, she is a vessel trainer and boat school instructor for the Harbor Police. Jennifer became a member of the vessel collision investigation team after attending the basic and advanced vessel collision courses through NASBLA. She received certification through the USCG as a licensed captain in 2008. Jennifer has been a member of the CBSOA since 2006 and on the Board of Directors since 2012.

Northern Director - Bryan Sardoch
Bryan Sardoch has been a Deputy Sheriff in Napa County since 2007. He worked his first Marine Patrol shift on Lake Berryessa in the summer of 2009 and is now the full time boat deputy. Bryan is a certified Emergency Management Specialist. He coordinates Napa County’s Search and Rescue volunteers, serves as a Taser instructor and teaches Iwama Aikido and Self Defense at Sonoma State University.

Prior to his career in law enforcement, Bryan earned a B.A. in Anthropology while working seasonal sailing jobs. In his maritime career spanning 5 years, Bryan worked on boats throughout the Caribbean and Pacific, eventually sailing around the world, crossing three oceans and living aboard ships ranging from 19 to 762 feet in length.

Bryan was recognized by his department in 2008 for saving the lives of a fellow deputy and his ridealong, who he pulled unresponsive from their burning patrol vehicle following a collision.

Northern Director – Scott Krelle
ScottScott Krelle has been a member of the CBSOA and the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit since 2012.  Having always loved being on the water and an avid boater, he appreciates the opportunity to work in the marine environment.  Scott is passionate about having consistent and exceptional law enforcement presence on the waterways of Butte County.  He also looks for ways to improve training and obtain new equipment for his unit.  He is proud to be part of the CBSOA and is looking forward to growth in membership and increased networking opportunities for its members. 

Central Director - Dan Laval
Dan has been a San Francisco Police Officer for 22 years. His assignments have included: The Airport, several district stations, and the Tactical Unit. Dan promoted to Sergeant in 2011 and was assigned to the Bayview Station Investigation Team; he then moved into a supervisory position of the Plainclothes Team at Bayview Station until he was selected to supervise the SFPD Marine Unit where he has been since August of 2013.

Dan is a graduate from California State University Sacramento (1991) where he received a degree in Criminal Justice. Dan was also been a member of the SFPOA Board of Directors for several years and continues to serve on various SFPOA committees. Dan became one of the Central Directors in the Spring of 2016 and is looking forward to working with the Board of Directors to promote safe boating within the State of California.

Central Director – Rick Hubbard
Rick Hubbard has worked for the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol Officer since 2001, and has been a member of CBSOA since 1999. Prior to Santa Barbara, Rick worked for two years as a Ventura Harbor Patrol Officer, and prior to that worked as an environmental scientist after graduating from UCLA. Rick also worked as a Long Beach Lifeguard from 1984 to 2000.

Rick has been an Emergency Medical Technician (since 1985), USLA lifeguard (since 1984), and a First Aid CPR/AED instructor. He has also held a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License, 100 ton, since 1993.

Rick was recognized as California Boating Safety Officer Association Officer of the Year in 2004 for rescuing a disabled boater caught in a storm.

Southern Director-Eric Ledesma
Lieutenant Eric Ledesma began his career as a police officer with the Long Beach Police Department in 1990. His assignment have included working as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Bicycle Patrol, Detective Gang Enforcement Section, Officer Special Enforcement Section, Special Weapons and Tactics Team member and Sergeant, Sergeant Patrol Division, Detective Sergeant, Administrative Sergeant for the Chief of Police, Lieutenant Patrol Division, Critical Incident Management Team, Office of Counter Terrorism, Commander Detective Division, and was moved to run operations as the Lieutenant of the Port Police Division in 2013.

Lieutenant Ledesma holds an Associate Arts Degree in Police Science from Fullerton College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice/Sociology from California State University Long Beach, a Master’s Degree in Public Police and Administration from California State University Long Beach. He is a graduate of University of Southern California CREATE Program, the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute, F.B.I. National Academy, Secret Service Dignitary Protection Course, Anti-Defamation League Counter Terrorism Course, USCG 100 Captains Course.

I look forward to serving as your representative as the Southern California Director of the CBSOA.

Southern Director-Tracy Hild
Tracy Hild was originally from Campbell California, but moved to southern California in 1985 to attend Cal State Northridge on a swimming scholarship. She graduated in 1992 with a Liberal Arts degree and was going to be a teacher, but lifeguarding was her passion so she decided to make a career out of it. She became a Los Angeles Lake Lifeguard at Castaic Lake in 1987. She started as a tower guard and worked up the ranks. Tracy worked in Patrol Boat operations as a Senior Lake Lifeguard since 1990. During her position as a Senior Lake Lifeguard she had the opportunity to work at all of Los Angeles County's lakes. The other 2 lakes are at Santa Fe Dam and Bonelli Park. Tracy was a member of the Los Angeles County Dive team for 11 years and graduated as Outstanding graduate from the Los Angeles County's Underwater Instructor Candidate Course back in 1995. She continues to teach SCUBA to this day. She is certified in all the California Boating and Waterways POST courses. She hasn't taught any yet, but is interested in becoming certified to teach.

Tracy was President of our LA County Lake Lifeguard Association. During the 8 years on the board she had to represent lifeguards during salary negotiations and did legislative lobbying in Sacramento. Tracy currently is the Supervising Lake Lifeguard at Castaic lake. She was a member of CBSOA in the mid 1990's and has currently joined again to represent the Lake Lifeguard community and the inland water Boating Safety Officers. Tracy believes the CBSOA organization was developed to represent ALL agencies that work as Patrol Boat Operators, that being, Police, Lifeguard, Fire Fighter or Coast Guard. Tracy said, she will do her best to support, not only the Southern Section waters of CBSOA, but the whole organization. She thanks you for allowing her to be a representative on the 2016-2017 CBSOA Board.

Training Director-Tyler Bengard
Tyler Bengard has been employed by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department since January 2006. He was assigned to the West Valley Detention Center as a Deputy where he spent most of his time in intake processing recently arrested individuals. He was transferred to the Big Bear Station where he worked for close to two years. He was involved in, or assisted in investigations ranging from petty theft to murder.

He transferred to the Chino Hills/West End station where he worked for nearly 3 ½ years. He became certified in the county wide gang program SMASH, San Bernardino Movement Against Street Hoodlums. He furthered his accident investigation skills while at Chino Hills by completing the major vehicle accident reconstruction course.

He was transferred to the Needles Station in March of 2012 where he became a FTO, Field Training Officer. The Needles Patrol station covers approximately 5200 square miles of land and approximately 90 miles on the Colorado River. He has conducted, and assisted in, numerous drug investigations and arrest.

He joined the Marine Enforcement unit in February 2014 and has recently become a member of the CBSOA and was elected to the Board of Directors.