Law enforcement, corrections workers recognized

May 08, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- Several area police officers were honored Friday evening for their role in the January apprehension of a convicted murderer who escaped from Maryland Correctional Institution south of Hagerstown and was on the run for almost a week.

Kandelario Garcia-Ramos was taken into custody by officers from Boonsboro, the Washington County Sheriff's Department and Maryland State Police after a clerk at the Sheetz at U.S. 40 and Md. 66 noticed a suspicious person and called police.

The escaped inmate led officers on a chase through fields before he was found trying to hide in a creek.

Boonsboro Sgt. Rich Poffenberger and Officer Shawn Faith were honored with a proclamation from the town Friday during a public safety awards ceremony at Hagerstown Community College. The awards are sponsored by the HCC Administration of Justice.

"The dangers you face each and every working day of your life are real," Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell told the crowd in the Kepler Theater during his keynote address.


In his own courtroom, McDowell witnessed the bravery of both law enforcement and correctional officers when an enraged inmate had to be subdued, he said.

Almost every week, he hears cases in which correctional officers are abused by inmates. Correctional officers are, "subject to some of the most disgusting" acts, the judge said.

Several state troopers and sheriff's deputies also were honored for their role in his apprehension.

Maryland State Police Sgt. David K. Bowers was named non-commissioned officer of the year because he "excels" as the criminal section supervisor in the Hagerstown Barracks, said Capt. James Pyles, commander of the western region.

Trooper 1st Class Travis Brown was recognized as Trooper of the Year. He leads the Hagerstown Barrack in number of calls of service to which he responds, and he has high traffic-enforcement totals, Pyles said.

Both law enforcement and correctional employees were honored at Friday's event.

Deputy Shannon Kelley of the Washington County Detention Center was recognized for her lifesaving efforts in aiding a female inmate who was choking, perhaps saving the woman's life, Sheriff Douglas Mullendore said.

Several deputies received certificates of recognition for participating in the "shop with a cop" program, taking Williamsport and Sharpsburg area children out for a day of shopping and lunch to ensure the children could enjoy the Christmas season, Mullendore said.

Maryland Correctional Institution Sgt. Anthony Obitts was honored as an employee of the year for looking into a scheme through which contraband was being shipped into the prison, Warden Roderick Sowers said. Because of Obitts' efforts, the procedure by which packages are received into the institution was revised, Sowers said.

The 2009 Public Safety Awards recognized the following, according to the program:

o Sgt. Rich Poffenberger and Officer Shawn Faith of the Boonsboro Police Department

o Trooper 1st Class Travis G. Brown, Sgt. David K. Bowers, Trooper 1st Class Shane L. Bussard, Trooper 1st Class Kenneth L. Cain, Trooper 1st Class Joseph W. Eichelberger, Trooper 1st Class Michael S. Hegedus, Trooper 1st Class David V. Matthews and Trooper 1st Class Andrew L. Smith of the Maryland State Police

o Sgt. Daryl Long, Deputy 1st Class Randy Bradley, Deputy 1st Class Teddy Ellis, Deputy 1st Class Robert Reid, Deputy Shannon Kelley and Deputy 1st Class Joseph Barnhart of the Washington County Sheriff's Office detention division

o Joyce Helgeman of the Washington County Sheriff's Office judicial division

o Andrew Scott Rice, Jennifer Martz, Angela Norford and Christopher Mentzer, citizens recognized by the Washington County Sheriff's Office

o Hagerstown Police Officer Brett McCoy, recognized by the Washington County Sheriff's Office for his contributions to law enforcement

o Deputy 1st Class Jay Mills, Cpl. Dan Henley, Karie Kirchoff, Deputy 1st Class Todd Crowder, Deputy 1st Class Damien Broussard, Deputy 1st Class David Izat, Deputy 1st Class Jeff Miller, Deputy 1st Class Scott Smith, Deputy 1st Class Dan Watson, Deputy 1st Class Ken Cain, Deputy 1st Class Steve McCarty, Deputy 1st Class Jasen Willison, Deputy 1st Class Carl Witmer, Sgt. Danny Faith, Kethy Repp, Sgt. Chris Weaver, Deputy 1st Class Josh McCauley, Deputy Ryan Socks, Deputy 1st Class Scott Smith and Cpl. Dan Henley of the Washington County Sheriff's Office

o Robert E. Cobb, Sherry A. Kalbflesh, Correctional Officer II Gregory J. Mallow and Sgt. Anthony D. Obitts of Maryland Correctional Institution

o Harry Edmonds, Correctional Officer II Joseph Hewitt, Sgt. Rita McCoy, Robin Secrist, Earlene Sorrels and Correctional Officer II Robert Witmer of Maryland Correctional Training Center

o Kevin Bittner, Earl J. Clark Jr., Ronald S. Dickens and Richard M. Smith of Roxbury Correctional Institution

The Herald-Mail Articles