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Optimists name Officers of the Year

May 08, 2001

Optimists name Officers of the Year



By DAN KULIN

dank@herald-mail.com

Officers of the YearPhoto: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

Three law enforcement officers from Washington County were named officers of the year by the Optimist Club of Hagerstown on Monday.

City Police Officer C. Brian Hook, Washington County Sheriff's Deputy 1st Class Greg Alton, and Hagerstown-based Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class David Harper were the recipients from their respective law enforcement agencies.

Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith said Hook has "twice the skill level you'd expect" from an officer with his experience.

Alton and Harper led their departments in arrests made last year.

Hook, 26, of Hagerstown, has been a city police officer for about three years. In that time he has "made some quality narcotics arrests," said Smith.

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Hook often prepares his own search and seizure warrants, which Smith said was unusual for someone with so few years on the force.

Hook credited his supervisors and fellow officers for his success.

"Being a police officer is not an individual accomplishment, it's a team effort," Hook said.

Sheriff Charles Mades said Deputy Alton led his criminal investigation division in arrests and criminal charges filed stemming from his investigations over the past six months.

"He's doing two-to-one what the others do. ... He's a fantastic investigator," Mades said.

Alton, 34, of Williamsport, who has been a sheriff's deputy for about three years, also credited his supervisors and co-workers for his success on the job.

Trooper Harper logged more criminal arrests than any other trooper at the Hagerstown state police barrack during 2000, said State Police 1st Sgt. Rick Narron.

Harper, 30, of Hagerstown, also led Hagerstown state troopers in drug arrests and was among the leaders for traffic-related arrests, Narron said.

In one of Harper's arrests, he caught an escapee from Franklin County, Pa., and a suspected Martinsburg, W.Va., bank robber, who were in a car together.

Narron said that in May 2000, Harper stopped a vehicle in Williamsport because it matched a description of one being sought in connection with the escapee. The escapee and suspected robber were in the vehicle, he said.

Narron thanked his wife and said receiving the award was a "great honor."

The Hagerstown Optimists have been naming police officers of the year since the 1960s.

The officers, who are nominated by their departments, receive a plaque from the club.

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