Elks pay tribute to law, safety officers

February 01, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

Elks pay tribute to law, safety officers

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Cpl. John D. Vanorsdale Jr. was working at the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department in May when he got a call about a little girl found along a road alone.

It sounded like a typical lost child call.

"When I got there, I find out she's been abducted, sexually assaulted and just dropped off by the side of the road," Vanorsdale said.

He worked all night with the child and by morning, a suspect - a complete stranger - was in custody. The man charged with the crime is now awaiting trial.


It's that type of diligence and dedication to the job that was honored Sunday night at the Elks Lodge in Martinsburg at the fourth annual Law and Safety Day Banquet.

The Elks recognized 13 law enforcement officials and emergency services workers Sunday for continued service to the community.

Among them was Senior Trooper John Droppleman of the Berkeley County detachment of the West Virginia State Police.

Sgt. J.R. Adams said his work on the case of Jessica Newell, who was abducted and murdered, is just one of the reasons Droppleman was nominated for the award.

"He did an outstanding job with that. A lot of times, he didn't even get to sleep," Adams said.

Adams also cited Droppleman's professionalism: A suspect, who Droppleman saw in mid-burglary, tried to out-drive him and wrecked his car in front of the Martinsburg detachment.

Droppleman approached the car, found the man without a pulse, and performed CPR until he was revived.

The suspect was released from the hospital the next day and promptly arrested.

Although Droppleman was selected for the award from his station, he is quick to point out it that police work is a team effort.

"I do the job because I enjoy it," Droppleman said. "All the guys I work with are great. If it wasn't for my family - and I call the people I work with my family - the job wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable."

An addition to this year's recipients was emergency service personnel.

Berkeley County Commissioner Wayne Dunham said 911 and emergency service operators are the vital link between the people and law enforcement, whether they're helping deliver babies via telephone or dispatching police to an emergency.

"They're in a position where there's no margin of error, they're in positions where seconds count," Dunham said.

Last year, two emergency workers - South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Department's Edward Keesecker and Morgan County's Office of Emergency Services director Kenneth E. Butts - were honored posthumously.

Others recognized for 1998 Law and Safety Day:

* Special Agent Raymond J. West, United States Department of Justice.

* Sgt. J.P. Corley, West Virginia Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

* Trooper Aaron M. Zaltzman, West Virginia State Police, Charles Town, W.Va.

* Senior Trooper Scott E. Davis, West Virginia State Police, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

* Detective Kevin Miller, Martinsburg City Police Department.

* Deputy Richard Jenkins, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

* Deputy Anthony Lynch, Morgan County Sheriff's Department.

* Steve Allen, director of Berkeley County Office of Emergency Services.

* Mary C. Kackley, coordinator of Berkeley County 911 Services.

* Capt. Brad Waldeck, Martinsburg City Fire and Rescue.

* Andrew Arnold, paramedic with Martinsburg Emergency Medical Services.

The Herald-Mail Articles