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Staff photo by CAROL HARVATPictured are Lt. Dave McDowell's patrol division deputies who earned the Outstanding Performance award for the second year and Sheriff Mike Evans on the far right. Recipients of the award must have at least three out of four of the criteria: 50 criminal closures, 20 DUI arrests, 10 controlled dangerous substance/drug arrests and 500 traffic stops in 2008.
With the theme "Small Town Hoe Down," the Calvert County Sheriff's Awards Banquet drew record numbers last Saturday night as the sheriff's office, the Calvert County Detention Center and the Calvert Control Center gave out a bounty of awards.
The Calvert County Fairgrounds building was decked out in Western decor with hay bales, red-checkered table clothes with tiny hay bale centerpieces and black and white Holstein cow balloons. Many present dressed the part wearing jeans, flannel shirts and cowboy boots and hats.
"How do you like the costumes?" Sheriff Mike Evans asked the crowd. After applause, Evans, dressed in Western wear, said, "That's good because next year it's black tie."
"We had a record turn out," between 325 and 350 people, said Robin Cox, who was on the banquet committee. Everyone seemed to enjoy the banquet's theme, she said.
After an all-you-can-eat buffet Evans emceed, thanking the Maryland State Police, Calvert County Traffic Safety Council, Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse, State's Attorney Office, the Control Center, Department of Public Safety, county commissioners and volunteer fire departments for assistance.
"We cannot do this job alone," Evans said.
Evans reviewed the past year's incidents and investigations before he gave awards out to the lead investigative teams and citizens who assisted with the capture of the suspect in a Dunkirk bank robbery last February, and the Calvert Investigative Team and two men who assisted the surviving Bowman child after she escaped from a window in her Lusby home. The bodies of her two sisters were later found in the home.
Evans recapped the mutiny of a vessel from Malta that occurred in March off of Drum Point when the crew, largely made up of Russian sailors and armed with knives, revolted against their captain and assaulted the Maryland pilots on board. The U.S. Coast Guard requested that the Special Operations Team seize the vessel and arrest the crew. Under cover of darkness, the team conducted a non-compliant boarding of the ship and placed the crew in custody.
"It was the first ever for any law enforcement agency in the United States," he said.
Calvert Control Center Chief of Communications Jackie Vaughn commended her dispatch staff for their professionalism and awarded Tim Kane as Communications Officer of the Year and CO1 Vickie Peake for Outstanding Performance. An award was also presented to two young children, Russell and Melissa Bertino, who called 911 on Aug. 13 after their mother collapsed and was not breathing. One child calmly listened to instructions from dispatcher Stanley David Harris while the other began resuscitation efforts that revived their mother, Vaughn said.
Calvert County Detention Center Administrator Milton Crump presented his staff with accolades and recognized them for maintaining a high level of professionalism while adapting to changes. CO1 Shawn Brooks was awarded Correctional Officer of the Year Award; CO1 David Unkle was presented with the Academic Achievement Award; and Capt. Tom Reece with Administrator of the Year.
"He always has a positive attitude," Crump said of Reece.
Evans commended everyone who earned the Outstanding Performance award, which requires at least three out of four of the following criteria: 50 criminal closures, 20 DUI arrests, 10 controlled dangerous substance or drug arrests and 500 traffic stops in 2008. Both Cpl. Tony Moschetto and Dfc. John McCarroll earned the award for the seventh year.
The sheriff's office Deputy of the Year, Deputy Mark Fitzgerald, was commended by Evans for his service and his 70 DUI arrests last year. Fitzgerald's supervisor, Sgt. Brian Bowen, said he thought 70 arrests was probably the highest ever by one officer in Calvert County.
"He's a well-rounded officer. He does it all," Bowen said. Fitzgerald said he was just doing his job. Evans said later that a few officers had more than 100 DUI arrests in one year several years back. Evans said he had 94 DUI arrests in 1982.
Deputy of the Year for the Twin Beaches was awarded to Deputy Brianna Gray, and Evans recognized First Sgt. Matt McDonough, who commands the Twin Beach patrol, for connecting with the community and town officials and empowering deputies to develop pro-active policing programs.
Det. Mike Mudd was awarded Detective of the Year from the sheriff's office and Det. Ronald Naughton was awarded Detective of the Year from the state's attorney's office.
The state's attorney's office also awarded patrol Deputy Frank Winston for his investigative skills. Top Gun awards went to Deputy Jason Dean and Dfc. Michael Jones, both with 100 percent accuracy. The detention center recognized Sgt. William Brady and Cfc. John Wells with the Top Gun award with a 98.6 percentage.
All three agencies handed out Rookie of the Year awards. Rookie awards went to sheriff's office Deputy Thomas Rickard, the detention center's CO 1 Jay Haines and the control center's Paula Shrawder. Both Sgt. Roscoe Jones of the sheriff's office and Lt. Kevin Cross of the detention center were awarded supervisor of the year.
Numerous Sheriff's Excellence in Law Enforcement awards and Sheriff's Salute awards recognized businesses and individuals who assisted with endeavors of the sheriff's office this past year.