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Smithsburg police honored with awards

May 31, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

SMITHSBURG

Smithsburg's police department initiated a tiny new recruit, 6-year-old Hunter Wiles, during its fourth annual awards ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Smithsburg Police Chief Michael Potter recognized Hunter, who was wearing a blue plastic police cap, tiny police badge and walked with handcuffs dangling out of his back pocket, as an nonorary police officer.

Potter gave the boy a framed certificate, tiny police car and Maryland flag.

Hunter wants to be "a police" when he grows up, "just so I can help people," he said.

Potter called Hunter the police department's "mascot."

Hunter once stopped by the police department to ask for an application, Potter said. The officers gave the boy an application and told him to turn it in on his 21st birthday, Potter said.

Hunter likes visiting the police department "because they help a lot of people. I like to stop in just to see them," he said.

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Members of Smithsburg's police force also were honored Thursday.

Mayor Mildred L. "Mickey" Myers presented a mayor's citation to Potter for an April 5 incident in which he responded to a call for help from another officer while he was off duty, out of uniform and unarmed.

Potter "bravely and effectively" talked a suicidal, deranged man into giving up the knife the man was wielding, Myers said.

"He put himself between his officer and a knife-wielding, mentally deranged man," she said.

Myers joked with Potter that it took a lot of talking behind his back to coordinate the citation.

Officer Michael S. Neuland was honored with a certificate of recognition for his part in an investigation into a stolen rental vehicle. His investigation led police to several handguns that a dangerous suspect had stolen during a burglary the Washington County Sheriff's Department had been investigating, Potter said.

Smithsburg citizens also were honored.

Thomas A. Sidoli received a certificate of appreciation for his work with the Citizens Police Advisory Committee, and especially for the long hours he worked to ensure the annual children's Christmas party was a success, Potter said. Carolyn Stotler received a certificate of appreciation for her part in reporting a hit-and-run incident in November 2006.

Three officers serve in the Smithsburg Police Department, with one more officer set to begin in July, Potter said.

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