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Local officer named trooper of the year

May 21, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE

Maryland State Police Trooper First Class Michael D. Kretzer of the Hagerstown Barracks was named 1998 Trooper of the Year on Friday.

Kretzer, 50, of Sharpsburg, said he was surprised and flattered Friday during an awards ceremony at Maryland State Police headquarters in Pikesville, Md., where the announcement was made.

"I had no idea that I was going to receive this," Kretzer said Friday.

Kretzer said he has received countless awards and mementos during his 21-year career with the state police, but this was the first time he was named Trooper of the Year by the state police superintendent.

The agency's statewide alumni association named him Trooper of the Year in 1992.

Kretzer was honored last Tuesday as one of several Washington County law enforcement officers of the year by the Hagerstown Optimist Club. It was the second time he has received that honor. The first time was in 1993.

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"TFC Kretzer epitomizes what a Maryland state trooper should be," Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. David B. Mitchell said in a prepared statement.

"His dedication to his family, his fellow troopers, his community and the citizens he serves is an example to us all. He cares deeply about helping others and demonstrates his care and concern both on and off the job," Mitchell said.

Kretzer had an overall case closure rate of 92 percent in 1998, investigating 104 cases and making 62 criminal arrests, according to the agency.

Kretzer said he's always been interested in law enforcement.

Before becoming a state trooper he taught music in Washington County schools for about seven years.

During the summers he was a patrol ranger and interpretive ranger for the U.S. Department of Interior at Antietam National Battlefield and C&O Canal National Historical Park.

After graduating from the police academy in 1978, Kretzer was assigned to the Frederick barracks for 14 years.

Being born and raised in Washington County, Kretzer said his ultimate goal was to "come back here and work in an area I care about and (for) people I care about."

He has been assigned to the Hagerstown Barrack for about eight years and has been in criminal investigation for the last two years, he said.

Kretzer is a 1966 graduate of Boonsboro High School and a 1970 graduate of Shepherd College.

He lives in Sharpsburg with his wife, Barbara. They have three children, Ryan, 21; Joshua, 18; and Katy, 16.

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