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Trooper honored by police alumni

April 25, 2000|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

You might say 1999 was a very good year for Maryland State Trooper Jay Robinson.

In January, the six-year veteran of the Maryland State Police was named Trooper of the Year for 1999 for the Hagerstown barracks. On Tuesday, he was selected from among 30 candidates from barracks across Maryland to be named the Maryland State Police Alumni Association's Trooper of the Year for 1999.

"I'm just doing my job but it's nice that somebody recognizes when you care," said Robinson, a 1987 graduate of Boonsboro High School.

The Maryland State Police Alumni Association, comprised of retired members of the Maryland State Police, will present the award to Robinson during a ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis on May 17.

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Robinson was selected as Trooper of the Year for his community involvement and traffic violation and criminal work, said Tom Hess, president of the alumni association.

Robinson's ability to balance his patrol duties and community policing has made him a valued member of the Hagerstown barracks, said 1st Sgt. Greg Johnston, one of his immediate supervisors.

"I wish I had a whole barrack like him," Johnston said.

Hagerstown barrack commander Lt. Bruce Smith praised Robinson for his dedication and willingness to put in extra hours for special projects.

Robinson, 31, has been active with the Prom Promise program for three years, making presentations at high schools to juniors and seniors about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

At Children's Village, he talks to second-grade students about safety issues, and assists with the annual Trooper Camp, which fosters youth interest in law enforcement.

Smith said Robinson was impressive because of his arrest record while patrolling southern Washington County.

In 1999, Robinson conducted more than 800 traffic stops, made 18 arrests for driving under the influence and 46 criminal arrests, and assisted on 29 criminal arrests.

"The professionalism and dedication he puts forth for the state police and citizens of Washington County is outstanding," Smith said.

While growing up in Washington County, Robinson said, he was interested in law enforcement but still had doubts when he entered Frostburg State University.

"I majored in business with a minor in accounting as something to fall back on," said Robinson, who lives in Hagerstown with his wife Christy, 31, and their son, Colby, 6.

After a brief stint with the Washington County Sheriff's Department, Robinson joined the Maryland State Police in 1994, graduating first in his class at the academy in Pikesville, Md.

He was stationed at the Rockville barracks for three years before he was transferred to Hagerstown.

Robinson said once he put on his uniform and was on the job, all of his doubts about whether the profession was right for him disappeared.

"I love it. It's not the same job everyday," he said.

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