(October 15, 2008)—One hundred forty-six Maryland police officers were recognized on Sunday, October 5, 2008 for their outstanding commitment to the State's fight against drunk driving. Each honoree was presented with a Law Enforcement Medal and a uniform bar for exceptional service, and each was recognized, joined by friends and family members for their dedication to removing one of the deadliest threats facing Maryland's citizens, impaired driving.
"The day's awardees represent the front lines in the fight against drunk driving in our state," stated State Highway Administrator, Neil J. Pedersen. "We owe so much to these men and women as we stand committed to winning Maryland's fight against impaired driving."
The event was kicked off with a presentation of colors by Winters Mill High School Jr. Army ROTC Color Guard and a performance of the National Anthem by the Liberty High School Choir. Mr. Bob Turk from CBS Channel 13 served as the Master of Ceremonies and the officers' received a captivating and motivational speech from retired Louisiana State Trooper, Colonel James Champagne. The officers were joined by family and friends, this being the largest of the annual events with over 400 attendees at this most honorable event.
In all, statewide law enforcement made more than 24,000 arrests in 2008 for DUI or DWI-related offenses.
The officers from southern Maryland honored included:
-- Calvert County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Mark Fitzgerald
-- Calvert County Sheriff's Office, Deputy John Harms
-- Calvert County Sheriff's Office, Corporal Richard Wilson
-- Prince George's County Police, Corporal Steven Allen
-- MSP Leonardtown, Trooper First Class Eric Evans
-- MSP Prince Frederick, Trooper Joseph Chirichella
A final recognition was given to those officers who are assigned to multiple tasks, including but not limited to traffic enforcement who have shown a commitment through arrest to DUI enforcement and prevention. Southern Maryland officers among this meritorious recognition included:
-- Calvert County Sheriff's Office, Corporal Anthony Moschetto
-- Charles County Sheriff's Office, Officer Raymond Brooks
-- St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, Senior Deputy First Class Elizabeth Trossbach