Ocean Pines Police Honored for Exemplary Efforts

The Ocean Pines Police Department held a special departmental meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at the Ocean Pines Community Center to honor the outstanding and exemplary efforts put forth by members of the police agency.

“Our officers work hard to keep our community safe,” said Ocean Pines Police Chief Dave Massey. “The actions of these police personnel are in the best traditions of our police department. I am proud to command such personnel.”

Along with Chief Massey and Officer of the Year Lieutenant Leo Ehrisman, General Manager John Bailey attended the presentation of awards.

“It was an opportunity for me to be reminded of how dangerous such jobs are because they deal with the unknown every minute,” said Mr. Bailey. “I encourage everyone to continue to say a word of thanks and appreciation for what they do.”

During the special presentation, seven members of the Ocean Pines Police Department were recognized and received the following awards:

Meritorious Service Award: Awarded to any member of the Police Department who distinguishes him/herself by performing his/her duties in a manner that clearly exceeds what is normally required or expected or for a highly creditable police accomplishment.

Meritorious Service Award for 2017: PCO Kim Carmine

For the first time, the FBI conducted an audit of criminal history computers in all police departments in the state of Maryland. Each police department had to submit a preliminary audit statement prior to the FBI arriving for an on-scene inspection. When our FBI auditor arrived, he stated that Ocean Pines had submitted the most thorough and complete audit from all other police agencies he had inspected. The result of this audit later determined that Ocean Pines had only minor corrections needed for the audit. The excellent results of this audit were largely due to the efforts of PCO Kim Carmine.

Excellent Police Performance: Awarded to any member of the police department, including civilians, for an act or achievement above that which is normally required or expected.

Excellent Police Performance for 2017: PFC Dylan Miller and Cpl. Chris Tarr

PFC Miller conducted a routine traffic stop of a suspicious vehicle. The operator of the vehicle did not have a valid driver’s license. Seeing the vehicle on the road at a later date, Miller followed the vehicle to a residence in Ocean Pines. Seeing numerous vehicles frequent this residence at odd hours, and with computer information obtained about possible prostitution, Miller and Cpl. Tarr conducted a lengthy criminal investigation, which led to undercover solicitation, and arrests for prostitution and drugs. The dedication of Miller and Tarr to pursue this investigation from a simple traffic stop, helped break up a prostitution ring in Ocean Pines.

Excellent Police Performance for 2017: PFC Maykel Suarez

During evening security patrol, PFC Suarez noticed a suspicious vehicle parked in Huntington Park. Through interrogation and investigation, PFC Suarez was able to make a drug distribution arrest and eventually recover 117 grams of suspected marijuana. He is recognized for his determination to take a suspicious vehicle incident and pursue it to a drug distribution arrest.

Excellent Police Performance for 2017: PFC Dylan Miller

After stopping a vehicle for a traffic violation, PFC Miller noticed the driver acting in a nervous and unusually erratic manner. The driver provided a fictitious name and identity to PFC Miller. The investigation led the suspect to be correctly identified as a wanted subject with another name. Recovered from the vehicle were a concealed weapon and $7,400 in counterfeit currency. Through his tenacious efforts and investigation, Miller took a simple traffic stop and developed a counterfeit currency and concealed weapon arrest.

Excellent Police Performance for 2017: PFC Ricky Kerrigan

While observing traffic and in stationary mode, PFC Kerrigan observed a single vehicle lose control, vault in a ditch and overturn several times, trapping the driver inside. The vehicle began to burn. PFC Kerrigan stabilized the victim, a 76-year-old female, and put out the fire with his fire extinguisher. He then contacted the fire department and attempted to remove the victim from the vehicle. With the later efforts of the fire department, the driver was removed and transported to a local hospital. PFC Kerrigan is recognized for his quick thinking and immediate response to a life-threatening incident.

Excellent Police Performance for 2017: Lt. Greg Schoepf

In police work, it is not always what you do, but sometimes what you do not do. At the annual homeowner’s meeting for Ocean Pines, Lt. Schoepf was designated as the Sergeant at Arms. His job was to keep order at the meeting, while utilizing discretion. During the meeting an irate citizen charged the podium, screaming at Board members about water in his ditches. Although Lt. Schoepf could have arrested the subject for disorderly conduct and created a public scene, he chose diplomacy, calming the homeowner down. He took a very public and video-based crisis and defused it. Numerous elected officials and residents remarked how professional and reassuring his actions were, reflecting positively on the department.

SILVER STAR AWARD: Awarded to any member of the police department who distinguishes him/herself conspicuously by gallantry and at the risk of his/her life.

Silver Star Award for 2017: PFC David Richardson

As the result of a domestic complaint, a suspect was identified as having assaulted several individuals with a knife. The suspect was seen by PFC Richardson holding a knife and then retreating into a residence, barricading himself inside the residence and refusing to cooperate with police. Units of the Maryland State Police and Worcester County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist at the scene. While the police chief was engaged in verbal conversation with the suspect, PFC Richardson and other units made forcible entry into the residence. Surprising the suspect, who was still armed with a knife, Richardson tackled the suspect and was able to take the knife away. The suspect was taken into custody, uninjured, and later charged with first degree assault. For risking his life, and not resorting to deadly force, PFC Richardson is awarded the department’s highest honor.

Ocean Pines has a state certified, full service police agency that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The department protects life and property, preserves the peace and enforces all state and county laws, including traffic laws, in a fair and impartial manner. All sworn officers attend 23 weeks of intensive police training at the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy in Salisbury, Md. Upon graduation, all officers are certified by the Maryland Police Training Commission.

For more information, contact Denise Sawyer, director of marketing and public relations for the Ocean Pines Association, at (410) 641-7717 ext. 3006 or dsawyer@oceanpines.org.

Photo credit: L-R Ocean Pines Chief Dave Massey, Ocean Pines General Manager John Bailey and award recipients.

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