Patrolman Michael Theesen was named the 2003 NAS Patuxent River Law Enforcement Officer of the Year at the Third Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in Leonardtown May 13.
Theres a lot of great officers here. We all do a good job, Theesen said. I owe it all to my fellow officers I work with, to tell you the truth.
In addition to the officer of the year award, Theesen received proclamations and certificates from Gov. Robert L. Erlich, a certificate from Maryland State Delegates John Bohannon and Johnny Wood; Maryland State Senate and Senator Roy Dyson; from the Board of County Commissioners for St. Marys County and also a community service award from the Office on Aging, Triad, and the Seniors and Law Enforcement Together group for the State of Maryland and St. Marys County. Theesen also received a special congratulations from Capt. Dane Swanson, NAS Pax River commanding officer.
Its a major achievement to be the officer of the year on a police force that is undoubtedly one of the finest in the Navy, Swanson said. The people who work here and the families who live here are very fortunate to have Patrolman Theesen seeing to their safety.
Theesen has been working at Pax as a police officer for two years, but has spent nearly his whole life in the local area. He was born at the NAS Pax River Hospital in 1965. His father spent 42 years in the Navy finishing his career as a senior master chief flying in the
A-3 Skywarrior and transporting such VIPs as the CNO and Secretary of the Navy. At 6 months old Theesens family moved from Pax to Andrews Air Force Base, but always kept in contact with friends here, visiting frequently.
Even though we moved from here when I was 6 months old to Andrews, only 50 miles up the road, we came back every year, Theesen said. We had friends here and wed go crabbing at Goose Creek all the time.
Theesen, a graduate of Crossland High School in Temple Hills and a Microsoft certified professional, finally moved back to Southern Maryland in 1992 after buying a house in Solomons. Before finding a career in law enforcement, though, Theesen spent some time in the elevator trade, and even started his own business working with computers.
In his first year, Theesen faced some tough challenges in his newly established profession like the 9/11 tragedy and the beefed up security most of the nation encountered afterward. For his extraordinary efforts in that time of crisis he won an award for outstanding duty.
It was hectic, Theesen said. But he pulled through it fine and is a better officer because of that experience. This is a very rewarding job and I wouldnt trade it.
Theesen said that he owes the prestigious award to all the officers who trained him like Sgt. John Romer II, then a field training officer. Now, Theesen is a field training officer and has trained three police officers in the last eight months.
Col. Tom Dougherty, NAS police chief, said Theesen earned the stations officer of the year award for his positive, can-do attitude and dedication to his duties, in addition to his great work skills, and always willing to take the extra step to help the customer.